The life of a restaurant reviewer has its ups and downs. Some restaurants are merely okay and then some restaurants just blow you away, which is what Diciannove did. A new Italian restaurant in the city. Situated in Crown Plaza and with a great ambiance, this restaurant has wonderful little decor highlights, with some nods to Fleet Street (it is just up the road) in the artwork and a great bar. The banquet we sit at was comfortable and the table was huge. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. There is also another section of the restaurant situated to the left which is closed off for privacy.
The new restaurant concept has been around for about four months. Great pains have been taken to ensure that everything is authentically Italian. All the ingredients are from Italy even the water is imported and it all shows. Even all the staff were Italian except for our enthusiastic waiter Kevin who was excellent throughout our meal.
These scallops were amazing, the butternut squash sauce with pancetta crumbs sprinkled on top was divine. This is one of the best starters I have ever had. Just perfect.
Fillet of Beef with soft polenta and seasonal mushrooms.
This was a perfect piece of filleted beef with a generous helping of polenta and seasonal mushrooms. Great sauce too.
While I feel I made an error ordering more polenta on the side, I did it without thinking, the polenta chips were also amazing.
Very filling too. When I made my order the waiter smiled and said, “Good choice”. How right he was. The food was amazing and tasted both sophisticated and wholesome; a hard combination.
Burrata Crustini – Grilled aubergine, tomato, chilli and basil
The Burrata was beautifully presented and had a lovely milky texture. The portion was generous for a starter but it could have done with more flavor.
The grilled swordfish was recommended to me by one of the waiters and I immediately saw why. It was the best swordfish I have ever had. The fish had an incredible meaty texture and yet was still soft and juicy. It was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The lemon sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The acidic lemon contrasted beautifully with the fish. The portion was generous and the chef allowed the swordfish to be the star of the show and it was.
For dessert we were treated to three fantastic puddings. Zabaoni, chocolate mousse with chocolate salami and Tiramisu.
The Zabaoni had the usual creamy soft and fluffy texture but the top had been burnt slightly to caramelise the sugar a great touch. The Zabaoni was a sugary delight but I loved the addition of the lemon curd and raspberries below the main Zaboni. The acidity of the lemon curd and raspberries was a perfect contrast to the sugar. In my experience a Zabaoni can often end up being too sweet. Not in this case, the balance was perfect this was a really great pud.
This was a tasty, creamy and chocolatey mousse. It was generous but not too rich. Once again the the chef had added something extra. In this case the beautifully made chocolate salami which you can see sticking out of the top of the mousse. It was a great addition which added another texture.
I love a good Tiramisu. This was a great one. It was creamy, light and airy. Often a Tiramisu can be too heavy after you’ve had a large meal but this one was just right. This Tiramisu was more creamy than most I have had in the past and it was much better for it.
Kevin, our waiter, asked us which of three puddings was our favourite and we had a really tough time deciding. All three were first class and we couldn’t split them. If you had to really push me I’d probably go for the Zabaoni, just.
After our puddings we were lucky enough to try a Negroni with chocolate and orange bitters. This classic cocktail came with a twist: chocolate and orange bitters. Heaven in cocktail form. Chocloate and Orange is just such a wonderful combination.
We finished our meal with a glass of excellent Limoncello
Diciannove was everything you want from a restaurant. The atmosphere was relaxed. The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and attentive. Most importantly the food was fantastic. A great restaurant we highly recommend. And don’t forget to order the Swordfish!
Crowne Plaza London – The City
19 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6DB
Telephone: 020 7438 8052