By Laura Nickoll
At a glance, this swanky discreet dining room on the ground floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel near Marble Arch shouts ‘no children!’, but don’t let first impressions fool you. Children are welcomed at Giorgio Locatelli’s celebrated temple to Italian cuisine (the Michelin inspectors gave it their seal of approval years ago), and the kitchen will happily conjure up small portions of main dishes. A paean to the home cooking of his native country, Giorgio’s restaurant sends outs impeccable and inspired dishes that blend rustic Italian flavours – only the best of what’s in season – with refined, classic technique.
What to eat? Each day brings a new menu of antipasti, pasta, pesce, carne, contorni and dolci. To start, you might have heritage carrots, pea shoots, grey mullet roe, lemon oil and bread crisp while the children nibble on chunks of grana padano and bread, following up with the faultless homemade pasta (loyal clientele travel across time zones to have the chestnut taglietelle with wild mushrooms), and oven-roasted wild black sea bream or slow-cooked suckling pig if you’re not already replete. Dolci are no afterthought: yes, there’s tiramisu, but also gorgonzola panna cotta with chocolate crumble, pear foam, gorgonzola pecans and honey ice cream. Gluten- and egg-free bread and pasta is available on request (specify when you book).
Pipsqueak tip The dining room is at its most relaxed by day. The kitchen is happy to whip up smaller portions for kids.