Italian restaurants are two a penny in London, so finding a good one is like striking gold. So when Machiavelli was suggested I was dubious as to how good it would be. I am always cautious of going to restaurants in Covent Garden as I have been stung before with terrible restaurants that are just catering for the tourist masses, however on this one occasion I was pleased to be wrong. Machiavelli Kitchen and Dining on Long Acre is calm, relaxing and delicious haven from the chaos of Covent Garden.
I went for a delightful girly long saturday lunch with my mum and sister a couple of weeks ago and have put it top of the list of places to go back to soon. We booked a table and I am glad we did because half way through our meal the place was packed! The restaurant is split into two, upstairs is the more relaxed cafe/deli (during the day) where you can get cakes, light snacks and shop for italian delicacies. Downstairs is the main restaurant. The whole place is decorated in a relaxed, clean and simple way. White wood work and simple tables. There are a couple of long tables so if there is a big group of you then it’s not a problem, there is even an alcove that acts as a little private dining area.
The staff throughout the meal were attentive and knowledgable. The menu itself is simple, one page of delicious, seasonal plates. We skipped starters as we had all eyed the deserts and wanted to keep space! So for mains, I started with Tagliolini with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil. The fresh pasta was light, the sauce full of flavour and the mozzarella creamy. Together it was a wonderful lunch. My sister had the Risotto Manzese (saffron and sausage ragu), it was a perfectly cooked risotto with a rich ragu, that I am most definitely going to have to try to recreate. The Melanzane Parmigiana that my mum had was also great, full of rich flavour and lots of cheese! The main courses were perfectly sized, although if I had gone with a starter the pasta would have been too big. The wine list wasn’t too long and when asked for advice on one of the wines that staff were helpful.
Desert continued to hold up the high standards of the meal. Our choices were Tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake ( yes the kind with a melting middle) and I went with a cake from the cabinet – a salted caramel tart. All three were delicious. The Tiramisu had just the right amount of coffee in it, the cream was light. The chocolate cake was rich but not sickly which is always a plus side, and the caramel tart was sweet and the pastry crisp. Nothing disappointed.
This is most definitely a restaurant top of my list for revisits, and would recommend you put it on yours if you like simple real Italian cooking. The food is fuss free and all about the flavour and the simple rustic presentation reiterates this. If you haven’t been already then get yourself a table!