On a chilly evening in Chelsea, there was a warm inviting glow radiating from L’Artigiano – a cosy new Italian restaurant on Fulham Road.
Originally set to open back in March, lockdown delayed the opening of founder Leandro Longo’s new restaurant, but L’Artigiano has quickly become a fine dining favourite on the Sloane circuit.
Interiors are modern and authentic with exposed brick walls and atmospheric lighting. Food from exec chef Ignacio Fuggiero (previously of Re Mauri and The Met) has put his own spin on classic Italian dishes, using the best possible ingredients ‘that touch emotions and emphasise seasonal flavours’, in a relaxed setting.
With over 150 Italian wines in the abundant cellar, there’s 30 to savour by the glass and what’s great to see is a smattering of smaller Italian vineyards included on the menu.
With a special set lunch offering, a la carte and even a decadent eight course tasting menu, L’Artigiano has reduced its covers to just 24, but this actually seems to add to the experience.
Antipasti dishes included a twist on aubergine parmigiana – the Parmigiana con Burrata e Polvere di Prezzemolo (£10.95) with fresh Pugliese burrata balls perched upon a sea of fresh tomato sauce, sprinkled with powdered parsley and encased in a sail boat shaped crispy eggplant skin.
The fresh zingy insalata di Mare £15.95 was the perfect palate cleanser with langoustine, clam and oyster mayo along with orange caviar, clams and a sphere of Mojito.
A very tasty course separator arrived next – a mini potato cannelloni with ricotta and coriander, sporting a crust of black squid ink balanced precariously like a fancy hat at the races.
For the main event, dinner was cooked in a pan at our table. Yellow fin tuna resting on a salt block was blow torched and then steamed in fish stock. We also tried the slow cooked guinea fowl leg stuffed with pomegranate, blisteringly hot spicy wings and cooked vanilla breast with crisp carrots and parsnip (£32.95). We washed our dishes down with a delightfully juicy Sicilian Dagala del Barone Pinot Nero by the glass.
With last orders called ahead of the new 10pm curfew, we just about managed to fit in dessert – a tonga bean with white chocolate.
If you’re local to Chelsea and wanting to try something new, the adventurous L’Artigiano will most definitely hit the spot.