Good Italian food is all about perfecting the simple. By allowing the ingredients to do what they were made for, Italians have been able to enhance a few flavours to make great dishes.
Pizza, for example; the classic is basil, tomato sauce and mozzarella. Add a bit of garlic and it is amazing. Vicino on Kings Road near Parsons Green brings you Italian dishes aimed to please. Pasta, fish and meat, complimented with good wines and cocktails, Vicino brings an air of authenticity and homemade goodness.
Vicino is the Italian meaning for “neighbour” and the restaurant was given the name by a regular. This regular customer is now a part of the family. This story alone, makes me think of the Godfather films. I want to be part of the family too.
As well as the Life of Shayan team visiting, other celebrities come to this little Italian in west London too. It's quiet and almost secluded location has seen the like of Pierce Brosnan, Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and The Stereophonics eat here too.
The starters are the usual favourites of bruschetta, soup, mozzarella, calamari (which I had) and fresh veg. The two dishes of Calamari and Carpaccio were not too stand out for me. They felt and tasted very homemade, but almost to the extent that my dad or I made it and not restaurant quality. I am all for homemade food, but ultimately am looking for a top chef to cook me something that I could only dream of. Both dishes were lacking unfortunately.
The main courses, were a complete step up from the starters. Here the chef shone and gave us two good dishes. One of the main appeals of Italian food and Vicino is the produce and home cooking. These two combined give you an understanding of why so many people visit. Lobster from Billingsgate market created the signature Lobster linguine dish that got me here.
The simple headings on the menu are clear and obvious. Pasta, Pesce and Carne. I combined the top two with the Lobster and my brother went for the Carne. His order of lamb chops was a tender and meaty affair. Generously seasoned the lamb was a thick and succulent piece of meat.
The star show, the Lobster was just as good. Presented with the shell opened up and some meaty claws, I tucked in. I clawed out as much meat as possible and devoured the lobster and linguine together. The garlic and parsley on the linguine made it extra delicious and special.
You may need to wait a while for the good stuff but it was worth waiting for.
A homely restaurant, where you feel quite relaxed and part of the family. A good place to brush up on your Italian and get some seasonal, simple food.