Having travelled to various parts of Italy including Rome, Pisa, Florence and Tuscany, I absolutely love the cuisine and I am a regular craver of good pasta and pizza. By living in the multi-cultural and multi-cuisine capital of London, I am exposed to a number of Italian restaurants and am compelled to tell you about a special one that I recently visited called, Piccolino.
Based at 21 Heddon Street in Mayfair, London, Piccolino is an Italian kitchen at the heart of London. Tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, is this elegant Italian eatery that I would recommend you visit.
Stylish and warm setting
The restaurant is stylish and formal albeit cosy and warm at the same time. With the buzzing atmosphere in London’s shopping streets, Piccolino is the calm oasis where you can drop down and relax with your shopping bags. There is a warm ambience within the restaurant and a hostess that will greet you as you enter. Your coats, scarfs, umbrellas and all other items required for London’s unpredictable weather, will be placed in a cloak room whilst you are ushered to your table.
The table seating is slightly squashed inside the restaurant; however, there is a reason for this, which is that the restaurant is that popular. Whilst you snuggle up with your fellow diners at the adjoining tables, you will get a glimpse of the fantastic food that will soon be gracing your table. The fact that you can see the chefs preparing the dishes in an open kitchen, in front of you, adds to making you feel hungry and excited by what you are to expect.
With music being played in the background, a candle being lit on your table, a romantic ambience is definitely created for those that want to treat a loved one. I especially liked that the music being played was loud enough to hear yet soft enough for me to speak to my fellow diner and feel relaxed at the same time. Striking a combination of the right volume to play music is something that not all restaurants get right; so well done to Piccolino.
Contingent on London’s unpredictable weather, if you fancy sitting on the terrace at Piccolino, you can definitely enjoy the glimmers of sunshine during the day or more so, the sparkling stars in the night sky whilst having some coffee and cake and in the evening. A perfect venue for a special occasion or for a date night but equally good for those with children too. I was surprised to see that there was even a separate childrens menu offering a selection of classical Italian dishes in smaller portions. This is perfect for parents as they need not worry for any food wastage or excessive costs because their little ones want to sample different items; Piccolino caters for all and ensures that children can also enjoy the cuisine.
Variety and options for vegetarian diners
Piccolino is about creating a tranquil environment where the freshest Italian produce is served and it achieves this, without a doubt. If you have been kind enough to read some of my other restaurant reviews, you will know by now that I am a vegetarian that is on the hunt for restaurants that offer options to my dietary group and deliver good food too. I’m pleased to say that Piccolino is one that gives ample choices to vegetarians. I have to recommend the Zucchine Fritte (4.00 GBP/6.00 USD) and the Ravioli Di Asparagi E Ricotta (9.00 GBP/13.00 USD), which was bursting with amazing flavours.
Scrumptious sweet and savoury desserts
I have a sweet tooth that necessitates visiting the gym often and with restaurants like Piccolino, it’s well worth it. I adored the Tortino Al Cioccolato, which is a delightful warm chocolate fondant with caramel ice cream (6.75 GBP/10.00 USD) and would also recommend the Tiramisu too (6.75 GBP/10.00 USD). However, if you don’t wish to indulge in the overtly scrumptious sweet items, then you could always consider ordering the Formaggi, which consists of Artisan made Testun Occelli al Barolo, Gorgonzola, served with crostini, Acacia honey and Conference pear (7.75 GBP/11.00 USD).
The secret surprise of Cicchetti Bar
The secret surprise of Piccolino, however, is the superbly designed “Cicchetti Bar.” which can be found by taking the swirling staircase from the main restaurant to the lower ground floor. With chic vanilla and chocolate tones, leather stools and mirrors, it is the creation of a theatrical albeit small bar that exudes the fabulousness of Mayfair.
With a DJ playing tunes and small Venetian tapas dishes available throughout the night, this is a place to take someone that you want to impress. Whilst I only perched in the bar for a while, I have decided that I must return to experience it in its entirety. I have already decided that I will be trying the Bruschetta Con Burrata E Fichi (5.00 GBP/7.00 USD) and the Zuccha Fritta, which is crispy fried pumpkin and sage (4.00 GBP/6.00 USD). The fact that I have already decided this should give you an indication that this is a place you must experience!
Top-notch service that will make you smile
I love Italian food because it’s hearty and filling and a lunch or dinner service at Piccolino will certainly leave you releasing positive endorphins, and not just because of the food. The service is top-notch and attentive throughout, without being intrusive. The servers are a pleasure to speak to and really take the time to help you pick the best options for you and if you have feedback, whether it be positive or constructive, they take a genuine interest in hearing it and responding to your views in the most professional and hospitable manner. Piccolino is the type of restaurant that you would visit and subsequently write to with positive feedback on the servers – that’s how good the service is and is one of the reasons I am compelled to write this review.
A perfectly located venue with great food served in a timely fashion is waiting for you at 21 Heddon Street, so get your travel plans in order and get ready for a brilliant experience.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.