The Mayfair neighborhood in London is a quaint upscale area filled with gorgeous Victorian houses, high end restaurants, and elegant boutiques. I had the opportunity to spend a couple days here a few months back while stopping by London to do a few meetings for work.
There is no shortage of brand name chefs and ultra high-end restaurants in this area. However, I was looking for something just a tad more down-to-earth, a bit less over-the-top.
After much research that involved optimizing a number of factors, I booked a dinner at Emilia, an Italian restaurant located inside Bonhams’ flagship London saleroom. Emilia caught my eye because it boasted homemade pastas and food with a modern twist, which I typically like.
One of my favorite bites was also my first bite - warm, fresh-from-the-oven delica pumpkin muffins with chestnut cream, which were absolutely amazing.
Fried eggplant and herb mayonnaise (£6) was fine but not particularly noteworthy.
The server recommended the scapece of red mullet with chili and garlic, which I agreed was quite good with a Mediterranean bent.
Beet and burrata salad with kale pistou (£11) was pleasant and well executed.
I found the crispy pig's trotter, lentils, salsa verde, and leeks to be a bit heavy and rich, but reasonably enjoyable.
Beef carpaccio was pretty classic, topped with arugula and a creamy sauce.
Pastas came in two different portion sizes: half portion and full. The fresh homemade pasta texture was excellent and overall execution was good.
Spinach ravioli, glazed salsify, and buckwheat £14/£23
Pappardelle & beef ragu £16/£25
General Thoughts - Emilia London
The restaurant is in a great location, has a cozy and pleasant space, and serves good food. It's been described as "one of London's best lunches." It's quite good, but I don't think I would go as far as saying it's one of the best, especially not in a city like London where I'm sure has some of the best food in the world. It's great, but there are many great Italian restaurants.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed the food (we love Italian, so we'll seek it out wherever we are), and the space was conducive to good conversation. All in all, it's a very solid choice if you're seeking out a cozy, ingredients-focused restaurant that's dedicated to making good pastas and overall high quality food. It's a great option for a business meal.