Italy’s Best Restaurants Come To London

Ristorante Cracco

Ristorante Cracco

Five of Italy’s best restaurants — and some of the best in the world — are coming to London this autumn thanks to a new partnership between Harrods and Italian food group Identità Golose.

The five restaurants that will set-up camp in Knightsbridge for a month each are Da Vittorio, Enoteca Pinchiorri, Piazza Duomo, Ristorante Cracco and Torre del Saracino. You may well not have heard of any them, but there’s plenty of reason for foodies to be excited.

The first three mentioned each hold an impressive three Michelin stars, the highest number possible to be awarded, while the other two have a pair of them each. To put that into context, just two restaurants in London have three stars (Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Gordon Ramsay’s flagship Royal Hospital Road), and only nine can muster two of them.

The restaurants which are popping up in the famous department store all represent the height of modern Italian cooking, headed up by experimental chefs who take tradition as a starting point and use creative and technologically-advanced techniques to create exciting new dishes. They are Italy’s answers to Heston Blumenthal, if you will.

Carlo Cracco, of Ristorante Cracco, is probably the most famous of the chefs, serving dishes such as pasta made of cuttlefish, and pureed salad encrusted in caramelised sugar. Da Vittorio, on the other hand, has been a mainstay of Italy’s dining scene for nearly fifty years and is considered by many to be the very finest the country can offer.

The restaurants will take it in turns to occupy a section of Harrods’ lower ground floor, next to The Wine Rooms. Ristorante Cracco will be there throughout September, followed by Da Vittorio during October, Torre del Sarancino during November, and finally Enoteca Pinchiorri during December.

Each chef has created a four-course menu paired with matching drinks, which will be available at lunch or dinner for £130 or £180 respectively. Your wallet might not like the sound of that as much as your stomach does, but it’s worth bearing in mind that equivalent menus at the real restaurants would cost about the same without factoring in the travel — and sometimes even more.

If you feel like forking out, you can book a space at any of the restaurants now by calling 020 7893 8700, and we recommend you don’t hang around. When Copenhagen’s two Michelin-starred Noma popped-up in Claridge’s for two weeks during the summer of 2012, all seats were booked in just two and a half hours.

Has anyone been to the Italian originals? Do you think these meals can be worth the price tag? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • savedbythebellend

    You had me until “They are Italy’s answers to Heston Blumenthal”. I’ve been to the Fat Duck, and I don’t want my Italian food Hestonized. Italian cooking should be as close to home-cooking as possible… try Bocca di Lupo, Mele e Pere , Cinquecentos or Zuccas.

  • LJ

    So they made their name ruining Italian food and overcharging their customers who are too stupid to realise they have no taste. Plenty of much better restaurants in Italy that you would have to search out but are definitely worth the effort.

  • Gabriel Baluta

    With £180 you can go to Italy, have a really nice dinner and come back to UK.

    Everything that’s cooked outside Italy is not italian food. They just use the name for marketing!

  • Klein1996

    The best food is to be found in the very south of Italy – Puglia and Calabria usually family run restaurants with recipes handed down. The best food is simple, fresh and tasty plus its easy on the wallet. The rest is ‘show food’ not ‘slow food’. Gabriel Baluta below hit the nail right on the head!