Amaranto review: Fine Italian cuisine in sleek surroundings at the Four Seasons
Park Lane is one of the most exclusive addresses in London and is home to some of the capital’s grandest hotels. Over the years, I’ve gradually been stepping inside these hotels to sample their bars or restaurants. For my mother’s birthday, we booked a table for six one Saturday evening. Although the restaurant was fairly busy on the night in question, we were fortunate enough to be placed in the private dining room – which had folding doors separating it from the rest of the restaurant (which were open so we weren’t quite ‘private’). It was nice to have a bit of intimacy within our group and we felt like it had elevated our experience. I personally loved the contemporary interiors – the restaurant was a mix of red and black, very sleek and Asian-influenced design. Although the night in question was a bit chilly, there is also an outdoor terrace for up to 20 diners for warmer days and nights.
After ordering a bottle of champagne to kick off proceedings, we then ordered from our set menu. I opted for the Sfogliatina Fior di Latte – Semi-Soft Cheese and Courgette Tart. The presentation was brilliant, but being pastry, that soon went out the window as I tucked in and my plate was soon a mess thanks to the flakes. The tart was light and fluffy and the cheese was lovely and creamy, making it a nice way to ease myself into the three-course meal.
For my main course, I decided on the Roasted Halibut with Fennel Marmalade and Sauce Rouille. The presentation was very good, with some raw cabbage sticking up giving the dish a quirky injection. The halibut was cooked well, with its mild flavours well complemented by the marmalade and sauce. We’d ordered spinach and broccoli on the side, which really completed the dishes.
Finally, I was in a very indulgent mood when it came to dessert and ordering the Chocolate Soup. Presented a mousse-looking pudding in a bowl featuring brownie chunks, lemon compote, grapefruit segments and chocolate swirls, the waiter then poured hot chocolate sauce over the top, giving a sense of theatre as I watched part of the pudding collapse as it melted. It was very creamy and rich – tasting gorgeous. Meanwhile, my sister ordered a lighter but zesty Orange Tartlet with Vanilla Sauce and Milk Ice Cream, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall, the food, ambiance and service were brilliant. Our wine and water glasses were always topped up, with the waiters happy to give rounded and enthusiastic explanations to any menu questions we had.
- Amaranto, Four Seasons Hotel, Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7DR. Tel: 020 7499 0888. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information and booking, visit the Amaranto website.
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