Luxury restaurants that are set within hotels used to have difficulty attracting clients aside from those staying in the hotels. Thanks to the influx of superstar chefs who are now running the kitchens at every fabulous hotel in London this is no longer the case.
The stunning Bvlgari hotel in Knightsbridge is no exception and thanks to the uber successful Scarpetta family of New York, the hotel now boasts Sette restaurant - an indulgent and luxurious restaurant featuring the finest in traditional Italian cuisine with a few dishes that you would die for!
New York City’s Scarpetta restaurant family has transplanted their authentic Italian cuisine from the heart of Manhattan and are bringing their own inimitable flair to London. The term Scarpetta is derived from the Italian tradition ‘fare la Scarpetta,’ which means to indulge in a meal down to the very last bite - and indulge you will!
Seasonal local ingredients, freshly baked breads and daily homemade pastas are the foundation for what is amongst the best Italian food available anywhere in London - this is headlined by the renowned Scarpetta classic - Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil - which is an elegant yet masterful interpretation of a classic where each strand of pasta is devoured with gusto.
The style of the restaurant is minimal elegance - the showpiece is the food. The dining room is entered via the main hotel entrance or perhaps for those who want to keep a low profile by a separate dedicated entrance at the side of the hotel. A showpiece central circular bar is ideal for pre-dinner cocktails and perhaps for those dining alone. Hues of brown and cream are offset by a glass fronted wine cellar which holds an amazing range of wines from across the world and, of course, focussing on Italian rarities. Banquette seating and comfortable leather chairs surround linenless wooden tables.
Despite London being one of the multicultural capitals of the world Sette has its fair share of Italian wait staff who proudly serve the cuisine and are extremely knowledgable on its authenticity.
Having enjoyed a cocktail at the bar we sat down and began the evening with a truly mouthwatering and Instagramable plate of yellowtail ceviche with olio di zenzero and pickled onion. To continue I followed the advice from our very friendly and helpful waiter and ordered the Vitello Tonnato Rosa - Veal shoulder, with salsa tonnata, rocket, green apple, crispy capers. A classic Piedmontese dish that is not something I would have chosen myself but its combination of natural flavours and refinement was spectacular.
Naturally, the benchmark of any true gourmet Italian restaurant is in their pasta dishes. At Sette all the pastas are homemade and while my guest enjoyed the masterful Scarpetta Spaghetti, I opted for the Tagliolini ‘Acqua Pazza’ - a dish comprising of lobster, calabrian chilli, crazy water, pane nero - in time this dish will surely join the Spaghetti Scarpetta in legendary status as it is probably one of the best pasta dishes I have ever enjoyed in my many years reviewing restaurants.
The culinary delights on offer were complemented by fabulous, and slick service from the wait staff especially our friend from Buenos Aires whose passion was infectious. I cannot urge our readers strongly enough to visit the epicurean delight that is Sette as I hope to do so myself very, very soon!