Leanne Kelsall reviews Bernardi’s, the newly-opened modern Italian restaurant set in one of London’s favourite foodie hotspots
There’s no shortage of posh nosh in Marylebone and, having recently returned from Tuscany, I was eager to try the area’s newest Italian diner Bernardi’s.
The restaurant is managed by Italian brothers Gabriel and Marcello Bernardi (from Melbourne), while two-time Roux Scholarship finalist Sabrina Gidda heads up the kitchen.
Upon arrival, I fell in love with the décor. It’s elegant, stylish and slightly Scandinavian, with marble tops, polished gold accents and potted botanicals.
Large windows let in plenty of light, and booths with leather banquette seating create cosy hideouts for the evening.
As well as lots of indoor seating, there’s a terrace lined with olive trees and a smart cocktail bar hidden in the basement (the ‘Dog House’).
We turned up on a fully-booked Saturday night (although I’ve heard the restaurant is packed out most evenings). Although noisy, we felt relaxed and the service was never hurried.
Bernardi’s has a real ‘neighbourhood’ vibe and a team of charismatic waiters adds to the friendliness. Our waiter – a charming Italian – couldn’t have been more attentive. We took nearly all of his recommendations from the menu and weren’t disappointed. These guys are real foodies, most being of Italian heritage.
Bernardi’s serves traditional Italian with some added flair – taking this simple cuisine to the next level. It caters perfectly for the London food scene.
I couldn’t pick any faults with the meal. The ingredients are as authentic as can be; in fact, the different types of cheese and tomatoes I tried were almost as good as the real thing from Italy – they’re probably among the best you’ll find in London.
The presentation of all the dishes was impeccable. Head Chef Gidda works with precision, and at pace, too. The panna cotta, in particular, looked like a meretriciously crafted art piece.
So whenever our waiter appeared with another course, our eyes lit up.
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