Mayfair's chicest new Italian restaurant opens its designer doors
Where? 3 New Burlington St, London W1S 2JF (020 7297 2893)
Sorry, you’re going to have pronounce that for me. Think musical instrument – i.e. ch-ellow – and you should be close enough not to offend the maitre d’. Certainly on the night we visited he was too polite to comment if we were totally wide of the mark.
Any other tongue twisters? One too many of the signature cocktails and you’d probably believe you were Italian. Being the upmarket, chic joint this is, however, diners are more likely to adopt the sip-and-savour method of drinking. The Cielo Bubble – a delicious concoction of green apple liquor, elderflower and cloudy apple juice with champagne – deserves a little reverence, at the very least.
Sounds divine. And we haven’t even mentioned the food yet. Fabulous raw ingredients ensure every dish on the Mayfair-meets-Milan menu is packed with flavour. Capesante avvolte nella pancetta con salsa all’avocado (or pan-fried scallops wrapped in pancetta with avocado sauce, for the uneducated amongst us) was a near perfect starter, while Cielo’s version of the simple Caprese salad (here served with char-grilled aubergine and pesto sauce) rivalled some of the best I’ve tried in the dish’s home country.
And for mains? Those feeling indulgent should plump for the linguine with lobster and cherry tomatoes, while those who’ve overdone it on the bread basket (not hard when the individual rolls are still warm and come accompanied with high-end oils and vinegars), should opt for the oven-roasted wild seabass instead.
There won’t be much room in my Armani waistband after that. Desserts are classic Italian – think homemade ice cream and Tiramisu – but given you can head down to the lounge-bar-cum-club to shimmy everything off afterwards, it would rude to skip sweets.
And for those who don’t feel like dancing? There’s also an art gallery, filled with ever-changing pieces from an eclectic mix of up-and-coming artists and more established names.
Need to know. Cielo is open from 6pm to 4am, Tuesday to Saturday. Dine during the summer, and enjoy an alfresco meal on the mezzanine level thanks to the electric glass roof.