A wonderful return to indoor dining brings us to Sette restaurant, located in Knightsbridge at the Bulgari Hotel. With its private and discreet side entrance, it has its own unmistakable Italian elegant design; minimalistic yet luxurious, featuring perfect lighting, although slightly dim for an Italian dining place. You sense an Italian American atmosphere running through, replicated on the menu.
The restaurant is affiliated with the renowned Scarpetta restaurant family, with its flagship establishment in New York but also found in The Hamptons, Miami, Newport, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. Sette brings authentic Italian food from the heart of Manhattan with its own inimitable flair. The term 'Scarpetta' is derived from the Italian tradition ‘fare la scarpetta,’ which means to indulge in a meal down to the very last taste. The restaurant stays true to this philosophy, continuing the tradition by sourcing excellent seasonal, local ingredients and crafting freshly baked bread and homemade pasta daily, one of which we have come here especially to try; the renowned and most famous Scarpetta classic, Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil, humble by name but a showcase of classic Italian cooking.
Was it just the atmosphere, the occasion of enjoying dining out again that made this dish so delightful. Or was it a touch of Tuscan sun in a bottle of Rosso di Montalcino? Both contributing factors, to be sure, but to be fair, the cooking was exquisite, of this and other delicacies tasted, the Cornish Crab with bull's heart tomatoes, compressed cucumber, white balsamic and Panzanella, the Black Cod with caramelized fennel & concentrated tomatoes or the Veal Fillet with asparagus, cipolline agrodolce, black truffle and spinach purée.
And now, as the remaining limitations of Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, we wait in anticipation of returning to Sette combined with a visit to Nolita Social, named after New York’s most charming neighbourhood, North of Little Italy. This gem of a cocktail bar brings the energy of ‘the New York night’ to London, with a heady mix of elevated cocktails, live music and DJ’s playing 60’s rock, 70’s soul, and 90’s hip-hop for a stylish yet carefree crowd. Having made a mark on the capital's nightclub scene, located beneath Sette, it offers guests a journey of social discovery, beginning with early evening cocktails and lite bites, and transitioning to a feel-good after-hours hangout; small, intimate, seductive.
But if you would like to keep such intimate indoors activities at bay for a while still, although allowed according to government guidelines in our newfound freedom, why not take advantage of the limited edition picnic in partnership with Ruinart, which arrives in a hand-crafted bag made in Italy and head out for nearby Hyde Park or one of London’s other splendid parks. Each bespoke bag includes a picnic menu for two, a bottle of Ruinart champagne (750ml), reusable glasses, plates, cutlery and napkins for two, all to be enjoyed on a Ruinart picnic rug. Although you might want to keep the contents a secret to your partner when planning this outing, here are some of the ingredients: bruschetta with charred peppers puttanesca and burrata; rosemary & parmesan focaccia with prosciutto crudo, rocket and balsamic; Parma ham with fruit mustard, olives and Tuscan bread, Italian cheeses and a selection of Italian cakes.
Now back to the question of the number of delights. Did you count seven? We lost count.