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Sunday
Mar272011

Amaranto

Please note:  I visited Amaranto at the beginning of February before my blog took a vacation therefore, I'm a little hazy on names, which I didn't write down at the time! Regardless, I can still remember how fabulous the octopus was. Anyway, so here it goes. 


Amaranto is the newly opened Italian restaurant in the newly refurbished Four Seasons. Which must be one of the world’s longest refurbishments. Really, who even remembered we still had a Four Seasons on Park Lane? Anyway, it opened, so The Boyfriend, two sets of siblings, and I all went to check it out.

 

 

The restaurant also acts as the Breakfast/Lunch place in the hotel, so this place is open all hours of the day and quite frankly I can’t wait to check out Brunch here.
Anyway, the refurbishment is interesting to say the least. Those £125 million were obviously spent, but I found it a little over the top. Lots of dark red and horse heads around for some reason. It’s a little strange. The strangeness carries into the restaurant. They’ve gone for an expensive Asian influenced look which is very odd, given its an Italian restaurant.
This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that they’ve really aimed for perfection with regards to other aspects. They’ve thought about everything and the whole experience feels luxurious. My favourite thing about this place is that there are little stools for handbags to sit on, which solves the question almost all women face, where do I put my handbag?  In  a dream world a new handbag would never touch the ground. If you’ve just spent a lot of money on  a handbag you don't want to put it on the ground effectively smearing the underside of someone's shoe on your new investment,  but asking for a seat for your bag makes one seem a little crazed/OTT/ Mariah Carey-ish. Similarly, an even bigger problem involves clutches, too big to fit on a table, small enough to get lost underneath it and generally small enough to fall through gaps in the chair. So call me crazy but this, I felt was  a very nice touch indeed.
We started with an unremarkable and unmemorable amuse bouche.
Followed by a selection of bread which were all standard quality. I just wished I’d listened when the waiter had told us what they were composed of as, and hadn’t been shocked by a very strong Sardine flavour.
I started with Scallops cooked three ways at 12.50. They were good but not mind blowingly good. All well cooked and pleasant enough.

The star was the Boyfriend’s octopus in an Arabiatta sauce with Polenta, at roughly the same price I think. It was incredible. Genuinely amazing. The polenta was soft and almost sweet and the octopus was perfectly cooked, in a beautiful hot sauce.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten something so good for a starter, I wanted to ask the Waiter if I could change my order and have a larger size as a main.
I’m glad I didn’t as my main was almost equally good. Gnocchi stuffed with pesto, with langousitine and a mushroom something or other (no menu online !). The gnocchi was perfect and the pesto was nice and creamy. They langoustine portion was on the small side but that was my only complaint.
The Boyfriend’s lobster spaghetti didn’t live up to the same standard. It looked and tasted like a stir-fry. He didn’t love his dish the way I loved mine.
We ended the meal with a selection of sorbets and a something.  Both great, the sorbets were creamy, tangy and refreshing whilst the dessert whilst I cant remember what we had, I do remember wanting to take it home with me.
Even more food arrived before we left. A selection at Petite Fours, which were mostly left untouched as we were all full by this point, and a lovely flower tea.
They have really gone for perfection here. The service was equally great. It was swift, efficient but friendly too - service many restaurants should strive to achieve.
I thought the bill would be less than it was. Just looking at the prices which were shockingly reasonable on the menu – around the same price as Il Baretto perhaps slightly cheaper, the wine however, really shifted the bill upwards. Even at £60 a head, which included a bottle of wine, random extras (whilst The Boyfriend and I had pasta as mains, the two siblings both went for fish at around £25 a pop, pushing it up a little more), given the experience was comparable to Zafferano it was still a pretty good deal. I think the whole experience felt a lot more luxurious and expensive than the bill – a rarity in London. 
Amaranto on Urbanspoon

 

Reader Comments (1)

I LOVE octopus, think I'm going to go here just for that!

March 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoi

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