With so many fads and fusions on the London restaurant scene, it’s sometimes easy to forget the classics. The family-run authentic Italian, so popular in the 70s, 80s and 90s, some may argue has fallen by the wayside to nouvelle cuisine, Americana, Thai, Vietnamese and the many other types and blends its sits alongside.
Our love for the trattoria, osteria and ristorante came flowing back however, after a recent lunchtime visit to Fulham’s gem Vicino.
Located a five minute stroll from Parson’s Green, this relaxed Italian offers a sun-filled conservatory entrance (where we sat), leading to a cosy dining space, with vintage posters and foliage breaking up the space. Vicino was ideal for a casual lunch or we imagined would be romantic for a dinner a deux.
The food was delicately prepared, representing different regions of Italy. The flavours in our Insalata Vicino of spinach, artichoke, plum tomato and avo, blended seamlessly. Likewise, the lentil, quinoa and cauliflower finely-chopped salad felt health-giving, complimented by artichokes, parsley, red onions and celery.
For mains, we couldn’t resist the house special of lobster spaghetti, fresh from the kitchen’s tank, cooked simply with Italian herbs and white wine. Our penne in cherry tomatoes sauce, aubergines and grated aged ricotta was also plated simply, yet the flavours shone through.
As my companion and I had both opted for a long and drawn-out lunch, we couldn’t resist Dolci. Our mixture of mandarin, raspberry and lemon sorbets was a palate cleanser, after fitst sampling Vicino’s own Tiramisu – made with all the authority of an Italian.
Seated around us in the restaurant was a group of students, along with a few couples and two older ladies catching up over lunch, which signified Vicino’s appeal to all ages. And with over 45 fresh dishes from which to choose, I believe this classic London Italian is going nowhere.