Thursday evening in beautiful, breezy London town and my companion and I craved classic Italian food. Luckily, we were booked in to sample the delights at Diciannove in the City – a mellow and tranquil escape from the mayhem of Blackfriars. Upon entering we discovered we were to dine during one of the weekly jazz nights at the restaurant. The smooth melodies set the tone for a relaxed evening.
To start, my dining partner and I shared a classic Italian meat and cheese platter – the cheeses were delicious, the Parmesan in particular was strong and flavoursome, and the capocollo and Parma ham were both delicious and finely spiced.
We also sampled the capesante su vellutata di piselli starter – scallops, pea purée, petits pois and crispy prosciutto. There was a buttery taste overall, but the prosciutto was strong, and the scallops were succulent, delicate and melted in my mouth.
Throughout the night our meal was accompanied by a Gavi di Gavi Superiore Morgassi DOCG Italian white wine recommended by our server – a delicious and refreshing example of the range of wines available at Diciannove.
For mains I chose the agnello saporito – a stewed rump of lamb with mashed potatoes. The potatoes were deliciously creamy, the lamb was tender, and together they were so mouth-meltingly good, it was like a pebble being washed away by the sea.
My guest decided to select from the range of handmade pastas on offer at Diciannove, opting for the spaghettini all’ astice – fresh lobster, pigato thyme and fresh tomato. It was a vibrant dish with succulent cherry tomatoes piled on top. The delicious, light, creamy meal was described by my guest as ‘satisfying… the best thing I’ve eaten in a while.’
Finally, for dessert I had the tiramisu which was sweet and creamy, with only a subtle taste of coffee. Perfect for me as a known avoider of coffee.
My guest had one of the signature Diciannove desserts – the delizia al Cioccolato, a chocolate mousse with a chocolate salami garnish. The mousse was smooth, velvety and chocolatey, but the real highlight was the chocolate salami. It was a delicious and interesting quirk in which chocolate is rolled into a cylinder and sliced, the salami name coming from the marzipan which gives the whole thing a similar look to the cured meat. It was a welcome novelty and my only regret was not having more slices!
Overall it was a very pleasant experience. A range of delightful dishes combined with some wonderful wine and a relaxing jazz soundtrack – what more could you want?
Diciannove Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Crown Plaza London, 19 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6DB