I’ve found a wonderful place for daytime eating in central London, which is great value for food of this quality. I like my lunch early. Basically 11am is not too early. So I was pleased to hear that Pescatori, the Italian & seafood restaurant just north of London’s Oxford St has launched a great value, £23, 3-course lobster lunch AND it starts from 12 noon (running through to 6.45pm, Monday to Friday).
Incidentally, I also like an early dinner, so I can take advantage of cheaper menus which end at, say, 7pm. The other day my husband had a steak for £5.95 (plus a £2 supplement, but still cheap) at the King William IV pub in Hampstead, including all the trimmings (Bearnaise sauce, chips, salad). We ordered at 6.50pm, so were just in time. I had the Thai Green Chicken Curry with rice plus one massive, slightly phallic prawn cracker, for £5.95 too. Bargain.
Anyway, back to Pescatori. I decided beforehand to have the best-selling main course – Dorset Blue lobster burger in a sesame bun with tomato hollandaise, salad and fries (I declined the bun). For starters I had Oysters Pescatori with fresh lemon squeezed over (although there was also shallot vinegar, which I think overpowers them). I love oysters. They always feel like a luxury, treat food and yet a serving of six raw oysters contains only approximately 57 calories. What’s not to like? In this case there were three, which I would have served on a smaller plate because they looked a bit lost! Scrummy though. They went perfectly with the complimentary glass of Prosecco we received. My lovely companion, the massively talented TV Producer/Director/Cameraman/Editor went for the Devon Crab & Avocado, which he pronounced “absolutely delicious”. The final starter available on this special lunch menu was Poached new season asparagus with Parma ham & Piemonte Dolcelatte, which was a lesson in making the mouth water with menu-writing. My lobster burger was moist, moreish and savoury, and the chips light and dippable in the tomato mayo – oops, sorry – hollandaise. Jamie, who had just nipped round from his base at the award-winning PR company Topline Communications, tucked into Monkfish and Scallop risotto, which was both tasty and filling – we like a generous portion. If we’d wanted meat we could have had New Season Cornish Lamb Cutlets.
We weren’t too stuffed to have pud (you have a separate stomach for desserts) so I opted for the two scoops of gelati or sorbettis – white chocolate and dark chocolate, which were studded with real chunks of quality choc – and were delicious. Jamie had the Cream of Tiramisu, which came in a tuile basket, and was sweet, voluptuous and rich.
We could have sat on the front terrace, which was sunny, as the traffic was quiet, but instead we got one of the cosy booths inside. Perfect for a business lunch, with tasteful, non-intrusive background music and attentive staff. The loos are nice too – always a good litmus test.
Pescatori, 57 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PD Tel: 020 7580 3289