Saturday, December 15, 2007

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo
Knightsbridge, London

The ultimate of romantic atmospheres in a restaurant in London. This upper dining area was absolutely enchanting with its crisp palms, Sotheby's artwork on creme walls bedazzled by fairy lights. The service is unhurrysome and polite, and each table is spaced perfectly to allow for your own privacy. The lower dining is surely more interactive and bubbly with a more-social atmosphere that welcomes larger groups and families. The food here was spectacular, and a lively version of classic Italian. The tiramisu is by far the best tiramisu I can ever remember.

This evening could not have been more perfect. The restaurant did not open until 7:30, but the nice thing about this place is that the upper-dining level was quite and intimate with its balanced taste of fairy lights and tropical green-leaf trees that were modest in size but uplifting in color and presence. There are only about 8 tables up here in the nook, and it is certainly more romantic with the fairy, and candlelight. Downstairs dining rooms have more family-size tables and the room is more open. The food here is incredible for Italian cuisine and you are certainly not rushed during your meal. We spent 3 hours here, not so much on our own accord, but the thing is the servers weren't constantly coming up to us and they gave us ample time to digest our dishes. This evening was so lovely; only thing is, you have to pay in CASH. It's expensive, but it doesn't blow the bank. It's about the same prices as Simpsons-on-the-Strand, and Rules. Come here for a romantic, Italian meal with wonderful atmosphere; it's peaceful and quite with a bit of Italian mood music in the background.

Sauvignon Blanc & Brown Roll
This white wine was incredibly light, but it was crisp and dry which was good. It did not overrule the meal, which I appreciated, but this wine is not one to enjoy on its own. The flavor and the aroma are far too light.

Ciabatta Roll atop Sliced Focaccia
The focaccia bread did not taste like focaccia. In fact, the consistency and texture reminded me a bit of over-mixed angel food cake. It was dense, and the flavor was almost nothing, like a very light white tuscan bread that you would get a pub with your soup. It was fresh, but it had no flavor like focaccia.

Minestrone
This was divine. My mom loved this, and I found this to be unlike any other minestrone I've had in the sense that it was so light. The broth was a golden color, and the medley of flavors inside was incredible. There were large parsley leaves and beans with shaved Parmesan cheese along the top, with sauteed sweet onions and else. This had a fresh Mediterranean zing to it with the herbs and cheese. It was not creamy or filling either aside from the large amount of broth. This is a star among starters.

Chef's Special:
Sea Bass
"along with fresh greens, broccoli and haricot verts, and fresh lemon"
The sea bass was heavenly. I won't forget the preparation of this fish. It was just so fresh and tender that it fell apart in your mouth, full of butter and lemon juice, turned with white wine. The chive herbs on this really stood out in appropriate strength. Overall, this was the best fish I had in London.

The sauce on this was tasty and thick, like a demi-glace. It had more of a fresh, earthy and mushroom flavor too it which paired fine with the meat. The creamed spinach on the side was decent, but didn't stand out to me. The cream of this meal though was certainly the meat. The mashed potatoes were tasty with a tad of butter and sour cream already mixed in, I'm sure. This was a good dish. I think my mom liked my sea bass more though.

Tiramisu
Best tiramisu I've had in a long time, definitely the best I've had in London and the most artistic. It looks like a masterpiece, and the presentation was outstanding with the dusted plate of cocoa powder. This was not drowned in rum, like many Italians tend to do but which drives me nuts. This delicate dessert was prepared with taste and perfection. It had the perfect balance of fluffy ricotta and mascarpone creme, with homemade lady fingers that were so light that the entire thing had the weight of light whipped cream in your mouth. It doesn't leave you feeling sick afterward and it is not overdone with sugar and such. This is a gem among other tiramisus I've had. Don't order ANY of the other desserts before trying this. It's incredible!

The Lower Dining Room
Low-lit with a bountiful supply of seats, this room is more for larger groups and families. It is definitely not as romantic down here, but don't let that deduct from your vision of its atmosphere. This is a fine dining room for a London restaurant and the decor is tasteful and elegant. I appreciate the low-lighting around here as well. I liked the upstairs better though because of its warmer, intimate feel. There are just so many seats down here and more open space, which I try to avoid in evening dining.

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