OK, it's not the most imaginative of names, but The Italian Job is a classy joint. The small drinking space in chi-chi-Chiswick is a masterclass of contemporary design, with unshaded lightbulbs, bare-brick walls and a striking bar that seems to have been inspired by retro computer game Q*Bit. (By an outrageous coincidence, we bumped into the architect behind the scheme the very next day, at a friend's stag do. How random.)
This place is all about beer. Italian beer. It's a big, booming sector over there, apparently, and this is the first bar in the UK to specialise in ale from the peninsula. It's set up like other joints for beer connoisseurs, with the various tipples chalked up on a wall-mounted board. Most have names that sound more like cocktails: Smokin' Joe was a meaty-peaty porter, which utterly divided our group; Violent Femme oozed with hops. It's very much a place to while away an afternoon, trying samples of the varied brews. (Although with some beers pushing towards double figures on the percentage, you have to be careful.)
Chiswick has no shortage of excellent pubs, but it's good to see someone doing something a little less traditional in these parts.
Last updated September 2015.