Il Pampero is the latest restaurant to takeover the ground floor restaurant at the Hari Hotel in Belgravia. We were invited to come and meet the chef and try all the latest dishes they have on offer.

We were impressed with the sophisticated, refined interior design, especially the booth near the window, offering the right amount of privacy as well as the ideal spot to people watch. Under the direction of Executive Chef Claudio Covino, the team deliver a traditional Italian menu – focusing on using quality ingredients and classic cooking techniques. Here’s what we thought.

A night which was packed full of flavour and comes highly recommended

Leading off directly from their Manhattan loft-like lobby, it’s a cheerfully bright and inviting space embracing a nostalgia for old-world glamour. Think cosy circular booths clad with Vespa-green lacquers in soft and supple leather and vividly retro tiles.

Claudio Covino’s emphasis on cooking from scratch was evident from the very beginning of our meal, established in the generous bread basket brought out to nibble on as we perused the menu. The selection included the likes of smoked breadsticks and a fluffy yet rustic spinach bread, which was incredibly fresh and moreish!

We started our meal by ordering the Calamari Farciti Con Pesto and the Salumi Misti. The Calamari Farciti Con Pesto was stuffed with Sicilian pesto and ‘pasta chips’, which was packed full of flavour and is highly recommended. The Salumi Misti arrived with a generous selection of parma ham, bresaola cured beef meat, mortadella Italian pistachio sausage and fennel salami.

Il Pampero makes their pasta on site, so we couldn’t resist ordering a selection of carb-laden dishes. We opted for the Risotto and the Ravioli – their delicate portions were perfectly al dente and packed a punch! The risotto looked stunning and came with a succulent veal shank ragout and topped with crumbled bone marrow. The flavours complemented each other beautifully, however, the taste of saffron was a bit overpowering. My partners Ravioli, on the other hand, was insanely good. With a rich, yet delicate flavour, their ravioli is a must to order.

We were feeling quite full after our pasta, so we decided to resist ordering their larger selection of dishes and went straight to the desserts. Make sure you leave ample room for pudding, with hits including the babà al limoncello – a traditional Neapolitan sponge cake – and the tiramisù, reimagined as a semifreddo, with the espresso poured directly into the half frozen dessert.

All in all, we had a fantastic evening. The food did not disappoint and the atmosphere and design worked together to heighten the experience.

Find them at 20 Chesham Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8HQ

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