This Italian chain has branches all over southern England, including ten in London, and a few further north as well, but until recently Chris and I had never eaten here. However we ate at the Haymarket branch a few weeks ago and were impressed enough to resolve to return again some time soon. The stylish décor and ultra-friendly service set the tone for a very pleasant experience, and the food was definitely above the average for a chain.
Favorite Dish: We decided against a starter but tucked into some delicious marinated olives while sipping our drinks and waiting for our main courses to be delivered. I had wanted to try the risotto valtellina, with speck ham, field mushrooms, gorgonzola, leeks and spinach, but unfortunately this was off the menu, so I settled instead for a simple penne arrabbiata, which was excellent. Meanwhile Chris enjoyed his pizza quattro formaggi as well, and we shared a side salad. With a couple of glasses of red for me, and a couple of beers for him this made for a very enjoyable post-cinema meal.
But I must go back soon to try that risotto!
Update Well I went back, and I confess was a little disappointed. We still had a good time, and the olives were just as delicious, as was the focaccia we ordered to accompany them. But the risotto valtellina failed to live up to expectations - it smelt delicious and the rice was nicely cooked, but the gorgonzola failed to pack its usual punch (I suspect they'd used very little indeed, as the one on Chris's pizza was strong and tasty) and they'd added asparagus spears to the ingredients, which would be fine except I don't like them! Worst of all, it was not very hot when served and cooled quickly, so I ended up eating it in a hurry. I would still go back here, but will probably choose from the pasta menu in future.