It’s been a bit of an Italian summer – not the temperatures up in Yorkshire – but the language training in the Veneto and Torcello. Compared with last summer – hot and sunny almost everywhere – this year is a balance of hot sun and heavy rain making growing conditions fantastic (if you’re a farmer) or constant grass cutting if you’re not. It’s late August and it’s like spring grass – cutting every couple of days across the estate.
We recently watched the TV series “Remarkable places to eat” where the interminably insufferable Fred Sirieix’s gallivanting around Europe with a well-known and supremely patient notable chef showcased their ‘favourite’ places to eat. Episode one saw Angela Hartnett sharing meals in Venice and on Burano – Gatto Nero for example. Of all the chefs she comes across as the most genuine, down to earth, and passionate about food you can actually hope to cook (after a fashion) and enjoy.
She has a few interests here and in Italy. Murano (obvs), a couple of Café Muranos in Covent Garden and St James, and the perfectly formed Café Murano Pastificio in Covent Garden, where you pop in for a quick salad or pasta of the day, delicious wine and perfect coffee. There’s also Cucina Algelina in Courchevel and a joint venture at Lime Wood in the new forest with Luke Holder. We’ve been to all the Bettys, so naturally this is the next challenge.
This time, after finding just the right occasion (45th wedding anniversary- were miking it for all it’s worth) we head for Murano in Mayfair. In August – presumably holiday time – there’s just one menu. Six groups of dishes and, in true Italian style, you just choose three, four or five as you wish (or six). Tonight it’s £55 for three courses and a Spritz. Time Out said, simply…
As for the food, it’s outstanding.
Choosing is very difficult here, much more than in many restaurants, but we content ourselves with three courses including dessert. Italian food might seem simple but the opportunity for pasta, risottos and vegetables ensures a wide choice of genuinely tempting and inventive courses – long before you’ve considered the “fish” or “meat” options. As usual, one of us starts with the puds and works backwards. Surely everyone does it this way?
In the end it’s easy. In reverse order it’s Apricot Soufflé; Duck breast, confit duck leg, pickled blackberries; Pappa al pomodoro agnolotti, basil, stracciatella and a shared Carnaroli risotto, girolles, summer truffle to start. Because a good risotto is heavenly and we’re always on the look out for the perfect soufflé (very good here). We drink wine by the glass – great recommendations and good value. Honest. Even the Chateau Climens…
Dress code is “casual” – no crap about ties, or slacks (slacks?? …Ed) or jackets. We’re here for the food. Man.
Absolutely fabulously laid-back but exemplary restaurant Murano