Briciole: Bona Fide Italian Trattoria in Marylebone
Is one visit to a restaurant ever enough to base a review on? Of course you expect a certain standard service but then again, dining can be such a variable experience. Hence, why I hesitate on providing a harsh critique if I’ve only visited once; though I’m always up for giving effusive compliment from time to time to a well-deserving chef whose food rocks my socks. ;)
So for Briciole I can confidently state my opinion having been there at least half a dozen times since they opened. It's a great local Italian restaurant if you live in the area - the type of place you go to with family or close friends. Casual yet cosy, the service is warm and friendly and the food has a sincere, homespun authentic feel to it.
We always tend to start out sharing small plates of delicious creamy Burrata with tiny cherry tomatoes doused in olive oil, or luscious sliced melons draped with Prosciutto.
And of course there is the pasta – freshly made and cooked perfectly al dente. I’ve tried their gnocchi with bits of pork belly and peas and their Tagliolini simply cooked with asparagus and pecorino cheese. Another favourite is the Ravioli with ricotta and herbs – utterly light and pleasing. I think the only pasta dish I wasn’t a fan of was the Tagliatelle with Lamb ragu which I didn’t like the taste of.
If you go, I urge you to try something from their daily specials menu on the blackboard. My friend still waxes lyrically about a veal ravioli made with pumpkin cream that was the specials on one night.
The rest of the menu is quite varied and extensive. So in addition to pastas, they have selection of cheese and cold meats to start with. And their mains even have a section dedicated to meatballs and sausages. When I go, I always intend to try other dishes but in the end, tend to stick to ordering pasta.
I’m not the biggest fan of their tiramisu – I believe their other desserts are far more superior like the white chocolate cake with lemon zest and vanilla sauce and the vanilla panna-cotta served with chocolate sauce. One night we got to try chef Matteo's new creations – coffee mousse with espresso nibs and crushed meringue bits. Amazing yet dangerous – it kept me up all night!
Briciole is fast becoming quite popular in the neighbourhood. It’s always fairly busy though it’s not yet become the type of place that’s impossible to get a reservation and I think it could become serious contender to Caffe Caldesi, another stalwart Italian restaurant in Marylebone. If you've been to both, let me know in the comment which Italian Trattoria you prefer!
Tel: 020 7723 00 40