What: I’m always excited at the prospect of dining on Charlotte street – namely because I’m called Charlotte (or Lottie for short), but primarily because it’s rich in great restaurants, from L’Etoile to Pescactori, to my new favourite Italian food haunt, Ossobuco – the subject of this review.
For those who don’t know, Ossobuco is a Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks, braised with veggies, white wine and broth.
New? Still teething, Ossobuco opened its doors on the 2nd of May this year.
First Impression: Walking into the wooden tabled restaurant saw us seated at on a plush sofa overlooking a vibrant and happening open kitchen, where we watched staff busy about in excited anticipation. Wine glasses clinked among guests and there was an overall vibe of relaxation. Lighting is quite a notable part of Ossobuco, with ceilings clad with dome-shaped lights and golden leafy lights.
The Look: Gaucho might be a bit of a touchy subject at present, but Ossobuco had that Gaucho-glam feel, and if you’ve frequented the one on Charlotte Street, I’d describe the feel/look as similar to this. An airy doorway just off the glare of the street takes you down some stairs into the main restaurant area, which is dimly-lit, thus oozing that sophisticated and suave feel, which contrasts the typical Italian restaurant aura of brightly light, large windowed areas. It had a certain glamour to it and felt like a place to frequent on a weekend, or for special occasions.
On The Menu: A whole host of rustic Italian food, described on their website as “true Italian treats”, from eponymous dishes Risotto Zafferano e Ossobuco & Ossobuco con Gremolata to handmade pasta’s and, often the favourite, the Burrata.
What We Ate: I highly recommend getting fish from the trolley – it might sound like a bit of weird concept, but it’s just a pick of their fish-of-the-day, which in this case was Hake. The antipasti Buffalo mozzarella Caprese style was another highly-rated dish, oozing with flavour as opposed to slightly more rubbery shop-bought mozzarella you might come across. For dessert, the sweet pastry with pastry cream and chocolate is an airy option that won’t leave you rambunctiously full to the brim. Don’t be put off by the sickly sound of cream and chocolate. All of the dishes were presented magnificamente.
What We Drank: We stuck to wine, a delicious bottle of German Riesling to be precise served up in over-sized wine glasses – just what the Doctor ordered.
Go With: Ossobuco strikes me as a place business deals are made across tables. However, if you’re not a wolf of wall street type, head here with a friend for a catch-up over great Italian nosh.
Where: 33 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RR, www.ossobucorestaurant.co.uk
Like This? Try These: Novikov, Theo’s Simple Italian