What: The Italian offering from the Novikov group which also has a sushi restaurant and basement lounge bar.

New? Novikov celebrated their 5th birthday on the 1st of March with an exclusive party.

Where? 50A Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8HA www.novikovrestaurant.co.uk

On the menu: Being an Italian restaurant you can expect a healthy choice of cheese, pasta and risotto while fish dishes feature heavily on the menu with options like Sicilian red prawns’ carpaccio with lemon dressing, Sardinian wild boar prosciutto, and Dover sole meuniere with capers and lemon. If you fancy something meatier there is the wood roasted whole suckling pig from Segovia with baked apples or beef fillet tagliata with rocket, Parmesan and Worcester dressing.

First Impressions: It’s super slick here with staff buzzing about efficiently, crumbs don’t stay on your table nor do drinks go too far down in the glass before a member of the Novikov team has taken care of it. This is not a jeans and trainers kind of place but it doesn’t feel stuffy or pretentious either, but definitely somewhere you won’t regret getting a little dressed up for.

The Look: High ceilings give the illusion of a bigger space although the restaurant itself is quite size-able, railings around the top of ceilings with backlights make it look as though there is a secret balcony. A food counter filled with baskets of food lines one wall where pizzas are made in front of the stone baked over which is next to the entrance to the main kitchen. Olive trees add a touch of authenticity while large rings of white candles create impressive light features.

What We Ate: It took great personal strength to not turn the bread and chickpea and aubergine dip on the table into my main dish, fresh bread with a salty tang kept me going back (and back) for more. Not usually one to get too excited about cheese and tomatoes, the D.O.P Buffalo mozzarella from Campania with datterino tomatoes and basil had me writing home about the extreme flavour of every bite as though the tomatoes had just been picked. The yellow fin tuna tartar was a refreshing starter with peppery undertones – small portion with big flavour.

As a main the sirloin steak was perfectly cooked medium rare as requested with a good cut of beef that had very little fat on; the onion chutney complemented the steak well while the peppercorn sauce was a bit of a let-down as it detracted from the steak. The broccoli side was drowned in garlic, the best way to have it in my opinion.

For an Italian restaurant the dessert menu was pretty extensive and while the Nutella cheesecake caught my eye you can’t go wrong with a classic Tiramisu. The strawberry mille feuille with zabaione cream had a subtle sweetness cut through with the sharpness of the strawberries and raspberries.
What We Drank: The beer menu was short but offered several craft beers including refreshing American pale ale, Bacio which was a welcome change to the usual Peroni you’d expect. The wine menu was extensive and reflected by the wall of wines you have to walk past on your way in.

Go With: This is a gorgeous date location with amazing food, plenty of wine and dim lighting.

Final Word: Novikov Restaurant & Bar combines cool and contemporary interiors with a superlative culinary offering. Nothing is perfect but Novikov is very near thanks to their slick service, heavenly food and very contemporary glamorous setting.

Like this? Try these: Novikov Asian, Corrigan’s Mayfair and Roka Mayfair

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