Just another okay meal here in London. I'm not sure why it's so difficult to find good simple and delicious meals these days.
I was walking around Piccadilly Circus and thought it was time I stop and get some dinner, especially since I was beginning to rain. I wasn't sure where to go and I happen to come upon this place. I had read some decent reviews here on vt so I thought I'd check it out.
The interior of the restaurant is quite nice. It's large and decorated with simple touches like the nice large chandelier hanging from the center of the restaurant of the universe. The restaurant itself is a nice size. There are plenty of tables on the main level with a bar area with more seating. There is also a lower level dinning area.
I decided to sit in the main dinning area near the windows facing the street. The waitress came over with the menu and took my drink order. She brought over a nice basket of bread with olive oil and some black olives as well as my glass of wine and took my order. I decided to try the gnocchi with meat sauce. A few minutes later she returned with my meal. The gnocchi was okaby, but the sauce was lacking any flavor could have used some spices or even a bit of salt. The sauce was watery and tasteless, so a bit of cheese actually did the job.
With plenty of other places to eat, I think I'd give this place a skip next time around.
There was nothing fantastic about the meal, not bad, just not great!
Favorite Dish I ordered the gnoochi with meat sauce.
How difficult it is to make a simple dish as gnocchi? While the gnocchi was good, the sauce was too watery!! The sauce was tastless and watery with no substance whatsoever. I had to quite a bit of salt and cheese to make the meal tastier!
UPDATE February 2011: the restaurant is closed for refurbishment so check the website below before making a special journey here.
This is a welcoming Italian restaurant in a great location for London's theatre land, and much better than the average offering at this price and in that area. The décor is attractive, with warm Tuscan colours, and the service attentive and friendly. I've visited several times now – the first with the friend who introduced me to it (VT's own Jenniflower) and on other occasions with my husband and various other friends, and enjoyed my meal every time, especially my main course choices (e.g. home-made pasta triangles with a pesto sauce on the first occasion, mushroom risotto on the second). There's also a good and reasonably priced wine list - I can recommend the Valpolicello.
The restaurant can be busy in the early part of the evening but gets a lot quieter after 7.00 or so when people start to leave for the theatre.
Evening meal deals - 2 courses for £10.95, 3 courses £13.95 - for a nice choice of mains and desserts
Favorite Dish The fried pork fillet - very nice. The Tiramisu was almost as good as my good Italian friend's home made tiramisu - but not quite!
This was my 2nd visit to Galileo, the 1st time was when we "katnapped" Kat (keida84) on her 1st trip to London in January 2006 and had a lovely meal with Jen (Jenniflower) before heading off to see The Phantom of the Opera. We thought this was a good central location to have another small girls night out on our return visit in January 2008 with Jen (Jenniflower), Sue (sue_stone), Iris (iris2002), Jo (jo104), Angie (angiebabe) and a couple of out of town visitors, Gillian (gillianmclaughlin) and Carl (camcorderman).
The location is excellent for a pre theater dinner for those theaters located along Haymarket, it's just down the street from the madness of Piccadilly Circus, try to locate the Haymarket exit from the tube station so you don't wander in a circle outside trying to locate the right street like we did.
We stayed for several hours and didn't feel rushed, I know that's more of an American phenomenon to try and turn tables quickly but I always appreciate it when it happens even abroad.
Favorite Dish I was really feeling the exchange rate on this trip, at practically 2£ for 1$, I appreciated being able to find good food at a non chain restaurant for reasonable prices, especially given the touristy nature of this area. I ordered the Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and cream (£8.95) and the tiramisu (£5.95), both were good and the portion sizes adequate.
The menu is Tuscan Italian, lots of meat, fish, pasta and pizza selections, many under £10. You can also order off the set menu, 2 courses for £9.95, 3 courses for £13.95, any time of the day, not just pre theater.
I met up with some VT friends one evening for a meal at Galileo's Locanda Toscana. The restaurant is located on Haymarket, just down the hill from Piccadilly Circus, and is a convenient place for theatre goers who want something a little more upmarket than the neighbouring chain restaurants.
I found the look of the place didn't quiet match the prices, and thought the atmosphere was perhaps better suited to a quick pre-theatre meal than a leisurely dinner. That said, it was still an enjoyable experience due to the lovely company.
Service from the Italian staff was good for the most part - our main server was smiley and helpful, but an older waitress scowled fiercely as she plonked our water glasses on the table.
Favorite Dish To eat, I had the Scaloppina Milanese (aromatic breaded veal escalope) which was served with potatoes and courgettes (zucchini). The portion was generous and flavours good. Dessert was the Tiramisu with Vin Santo - the Vin Santo was in the tiramisu, though I had been hopeful that a glass of it would turn up instead.
Their motto is: “Simple, seasonal, inventive Tuscan cuisine” and that describes it exactly.
'Opened by modern day Renaissance man and long established figure in the London restaurant scene, Stefano Fraquelli, in 1997, Galileo’s is the result of Stefano’s desire to bring the exquisite cuisine of Italy’s richest region to the heart of the West End. ' - quote nabbed from their website!
It caters for the pre-theatre crown (specifically those going to see The Phantom of the Opera (like us!!!!)) which is literally across the road (King Charles Rd to be more exact haha).
Favorite Dish I had a SPAGHETTI ALLA CARBONARA for £7.85 and was well pleased with the taste and portion size. Many Italian restaurants tend to make the portions too big and they give a perfect portion.
For dessert I had GELATI - a selection of premium Italian ice cream. YUMMMMMMMMMMMY!!!!!
I have since been back here twice, once with my brother, sister and hubby, and then again with VT member toonsarah.
Both times were once again thoroughly enkoyable, attention was good, but not too intrusive, the food was yummy and we didnt feel rushed. (which one does sometimes in these pre-theatre restaurants...).
A quick tip: Most pre-theatre restaurants (ie: most restaurants close to a theatre), have a rush before 7pm, and then quieten down after 7:30 - when the theatre shows start.
So if you do not have a reservation, best to pitch up after 7:30pm.
Galileo is a large modern Italian restaurant chain. We ate at the one just across the street from Her Majesties Theater on Haymarket. My daughters and I had a wonderful lunch here one visit. Lunch is obviously not the draw, as the restaurant was almost empty. But I've passed by in the evening, before the theaters open their doors and seen it packed.
Favorite Dish I had a butternut ravioli with brown butter sauce and sage that was just delicious. The restaurant was very authentically Italian and service was excellent.
After I had been on an airplane for 10 hours I was ready to get out and see London. Since I was "kat-napped" by my friend Kristi, I had very little say in the matter but I knew food would be her first priority. We arrived at Galileo Ristorante, the atmosphere is casual elegance with a lovely chandelier as a focal point to the upstairs restaurant. There were quite a few patrons in the restaurant espeically for a Thursday evening. There is also a larger part of the restaurant downstairs for group events and parties. The restaurant is local to many of the nice theatres in the district and they are a perfect for pre-theatre dinner.
Favorite Dish I had the Pizza Margharita, it was very very good. I always judge a restaurant in their selections of dessert, if they are not fantastic then I do not consider it to be a great restaurant. There was a unique item on the Galileo menu that I enjoyed-- an orange chocolate mousse. When it was served I almost, now mind you almost, did not want to eat it it was so beautifully prepared and presented. I got past that thought quickly and found it to be delightful. It was not too sweet and the pungent flavor of orange was subtle yet satisfying.