If you crave authentic Mediterranean cuisine, head to Mayfair’s Cork Street bistro, Aurelia.
Named after the ‘Via Aurelia’, the Roman road that took troops from Rome to the coast, onto Pisa, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona, the restaurant boasts a varied menu of the best of Spanish, French and Italian dishes. We felt utterly spoilt for choice.
An extensive tapas menu entices you in with Iberico hams, bruschetta, deep fried courgettes, marinated Romano peppers, venison bresaola and plenty more. We also love the sound of the warm spicy Majorcan sausage with honey, smoked swordfish rolls with artichokes and the mini beef and iberico burgers.
However, we decided to dine from the a la carte menu, as we pored over the abundant choice of entrees, including carpaccios, tartares, salads and soups. We shared fresh burrata (an Italian cheese similar to mozzarella) accompanied with sharp and sweet bursting datterini tomatoes and tuna carpaccio, dressed in a delicate balsamic. Both plates were beautifully light, making them the ideal prelude to heavier, hearty dishes that were soon to follow.
For mains, there is a great selection of freshly made pastas, which transported our tastebuds straight back to the trattorias we recently experienced in Rome. I chose the pappardelle with rabbit ragout – the perfect portion of wide pasta ribbons tossed in a suitable coating of sauce. Mr Husband went for a thinly sliced, tender fillet of beef tagliata, topped with fresh rocket leaves and pecorino shavings.
The rotisserie section on the menu is well worth trying out and a fantastic idea for larger groups dining here. Share suckling pig, leg of lamb, wild boar leg, or Gressingham duck, or alternatively, choose the Marseille inspired bouillabaisse, or fish dishes such as Dover sole, seam bream or tuna steak.
Desserts here are absolutely faultless. We enjoyed the tarte tatin with creamy vanilla Italian gelato and a newfound take on tiramisu – a crunchy crisp wafer wrapped around a creamy sponge centre. We would probably try theValrhona chocolate mousse with white truffle next time, which just sounds different and divine.
As it celebrates its first birthday, Aurelia has recently been treated to a soft refurbishment, keeping it characteristically simple in décor with unique statement pieces of purchasable modern art. This Mayfair hangout is definitely worth another visit.