If ever a restaurant was made for Instagram, this would be it. I’m not going to lie, but Harry’s Dolce Vita, London’s newest addition – is absolutely stunning both inside and out. In fact it’s beautiful – right from the moment you gaze upon the gold metal door covered in shiny red decorations.
The restaurant is the latest addition from Caprice Holdings and its kitchen is looked after by chef director, Diego Cardoso who has a wealth of experience at several Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s just a shame all of this beauty and experience doesn’t follow through to the service – apart from one shining star named Irina (if memory serves me well).
Step inside and the beauty continues to exude 1950’s Italian glamour. Colourful Murano glass, sumptuous fabrics, vintage brass fixtures and plush vintage style leather seating. Harry’s Dolci Vita is a nod to Harry’s Bar in Mayfair, an exclusive members club and also to the iconic Venice original which we actually recently returned from and fell in love with, especially the hotel we stayed in close by – The Gritti Palace.
We took a seat at a table by the door which again, was gorgeous and the atmosphere in the air was so infectious that we got so excited by this point. The one thing you’ll quickly discover is that the restaurant is surprisingly smaller on the inside so do expect to occasionally elbow rub with fellow diners and don’t ever expect the staff to politely move aside as passing through the narrow gangways.
First dish for us to divulge in from the menu was something I could quickly imagine myself tucking into with a drink at the bar here. A small cicchetti of tuna pizzetta. A mixture of excellent quality raw tuna, truffle citrus dressing, fresh tomatoes and basil – all served on a crispy base. I loved everything about this plate of food and especially the price of just under £7. A bargain if you ask me.
Starters were again lovely. Buffalo mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes and fresh basil leaves with Harry’s olive oil. A dish so scented in aroma and which transported you back to Italy. Equally as satisfying was the Harry’s tagliolini. The dish arrives in a copper pan and is scooped out onto the plate. Creamy gratinated tagliolini pasta, with truffle, parmesan and cream. It could have been a little warmer, but it was still utter heaven.
In true blogger fashion I always force the other half into having something different, purely to get a better taste (and more photos) of the menu but neither of us could resist the temptation of the pollo Milanese and it was every bit as good as we’d hoped for. Thinly beaten chicken, coated in golden breadcrumbs and pan-fried. I usually love the veal version of this dish, but on this occasion the chicken was so succulent I may have been converted for a day. The accompanying chopped rocket and datterini tomatoes were also very fresh and ripe.
We finished up on a dessert which was the main reason I wanted to visit Harry’s Dolce Vita. For as long as I’ve been enjoying food, I’ve been chasing pastry chefs across the country to sample their masterpieces and I couldn’t give this a miss. Known as the “Harry’s Toadstool” this dessert not only looked amazing, but followed through on taste. The whole creation is made up of White chocolate, fresh raspberries, mascarpone mousse, iced vanilla parfait and pistachio biscotti crunch. It’s then drizzled with some warm pistachio sauce table-side. As to where all these ingredients hide in the dish – I’ll leave that as a surprise.
We left Harry’s Dolce Vita, full and satisfied – but with an oddly bizarre snigger from the gentlemen who we asked the bill from. The restaurant is in terms of food a truly fantastic new addition to Knightsbridge and surprisingly very good value for money given the location. Its downfall however will be for me the service and pure lack of breathing space on a busy day. Our service by our personal waitress was lovely, but from the staff around us there is simply no respect for customers (which is bizarre as paying customers keep a business afloat the last time I checked), something we noticed going on around us throughout. Perhaps my next return needs to be in the Summer on the terrace, far far away from the rest of the staff.