We found our oasis in The Italian Greyhound, the newest venture from brothers Marcello and Gabriel Bernardi. North of Oxford Street, Marylebone offers a calm contrast to the thoroughfare it borders. Not somewhere I often frequent, its charming London neighbourhood feel is most inviting and for a gourmand like myself, it’s packed full of delicious eateries.
On arrival the terrace was heaving, guests sipped their aperitivi and conversations on the new normal echoed around the adjoining room. The restaurant appeared to have no problems drawing crowds from the orbit of W1 which is a hefty challenge in itself. The site which previously was known as Bernardis’ the eponymous Italian diner has transformed into a chic, uncomplicated eatery harnessing seasonality and provenance above all else.
Much like Bernardi’s, The Italian Greyhound remains a hybrid of half-bar, half-dining room dressed in grey washed walls and scandi-esque furnishings. We moved from the bar to the outside terrace – followed by small plates and glasses of wine which began to fan across neighbouring tables both inside and out. Beneath the festooning awnings which decorate the façade of the restaurant we perched, two Negronis swiftly followed us out, the only appropriate aperitif to enjoy of course. Two delightful twists are on offer one is made using smoked Sipsmith gin, which was not overpowering with smokiness but instead slightly medicinal and thirst quenching – the other spiked with earthy, oregano was well paired and leant a welcomed savouriness.
Negronis now neatly polished off, we had ample time to examine the plates arriving at neighbouring tables. Expectations were high, after all with head chef Yohei Furuhashi – (previously of the River Café, Dinings SW3 and Petersham Nurseries) at the helm, we were expecting the ingredients to really sing. The menu is based around small plates, handmade pasta, pizza, grilled dishes, salads and desserts using standout Italian and British produce.
We opted for Burrata, grilled courgette salad, mint & courgette flowers. Wonderfully creamy burrata was complemented by the delicate squash flavour of the zucchini and the fresh pop of garden mint.
A pizzette of yellow peach, Prosciutto di Norcia, ricotta and basil was so refreshing. The peaches offered texture and tempered the salty ham beautifully – truly a match made in heaven. Smoked yellowfin tuna, celery & caperberries was a delicately smoked (in-house) carpaccio was a revelation however, the star dish which blissfully whisked me away to the Med was the Octopus. Dressed with chickpeas, grilled fennel, datterini tomatoes this was a plate which answered the call from my heart.
Having seen the puddings that were available, we opted to share our main – dry-aged ribeye, borlotti, roasted ‘bull’s heart’ tomato, and salsa verde. Blushing on arrival, the rib-eye was cooked well, flavoursome and wonderfully tender – charred delicately from the grill. A small yet mighty tomato salad which accompanied the steak really showcased the quality of the produce on-hand at The Italian Greyhound.
After a short hiatus, we instinctively ordered the pistachio tiramisu and the cherry & almond tart. A tasty variation of the typically coffee based dessert was delicious, the intent was to share however, this idea was short-lived. The cherry and almond tart ticked all the right boxes, loaded with beautifully sweet cherries and a satiable amount of crumbly almond frangipane tart.
The evening quite quickly escaped us and with our bellies full and our hearts content we begrudgingly left for south of the river. The Italian Greyhound is an absolute track star, a perfect destination to embrace in a little la dolce vita.
To discover more, visit: theitaliangreyhound.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of The Italian Greyhound
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