Review: Venosi Restaurant

Mimi ON Mar 18, 2011 AT 1:43 pm



by John Gregory-Smith

Venosi is a lovely new Italian restaurant on Sloane Avenue with a smart little dining room, stylishly decked out in black and white, an open kitchen at one end and an old fashioned bar on entry. The food was classic Italian, all made in-house, with a heavy emphasis on provenance and seasonality.

For our starters we had the house specials of veal carpaccio and a crab salad (both £10.95). The thin strips of milky pink veal, which were served simply with a rocket salad, tasted very unusual. The strong flavour was almost lamby but the texture completely different, silky soft and very tender. It was delicious. The crab salad was sublime. Simply dressed with lemon juice, capers, parsley and tiny bit of mayonnaise to bind everything together and served with a scattering of tart purple radicchio leaves. The fresh tart salty flavours of the dressing worked so beautifully with the sweet crabmeat. I would insist on this being served on my return.



Animal lovers I apologies, don’t judge me. I decided to stick with the veal theme and went for the classic Ossobuco alla Milanese – Italian stew of braised veal shank with a saffron risotto (£22.50). The veal was cooked beautifully and fell off the bone with one touch of my fork. It was served on a bed of slightly aldente saffron risotto, which had a rich earthy taste from the sunshine yellow saffron. Of course the best bit was sucking out the bone marrow. This is not to everyone’s taste. However, for me, it was such a treat as I rarely get the chance to go caveman with my food.

My mate had Cotoletto di agnello all erbe - grilled lamb cutlets with herbs and white wine served with mint risotto (£19.50). This was the perfect example of why Italian cooking is so incredible; it relies on the best ingredients, cooked simply and well. The succulent cutlets had been fried with a little white wine and sage. They were cooked to perfection; charred on the outside and beautifully pink in the middle with a strong woody sage flavour. The mint risotto was very subtle. The rich creaminess gave way to a fresh mint note that worked really well with the sweet lamb.

Pudding was Almafi lemon and basil sorbet (£5.50). Italians do sorbets really well and this was fantastic. The sweet lemon sorbet that was so smooth, perfectly tart and perfumed with basil.

Venosi is a fantastic addition to the growing dining scene of Chelsea. The place had a lovely retro feel to it, including those little packets of Grissoni bread sticks on each table. It was fairly quiet for a Thursday Night and I only hope that when I go back it will have caught on and be heaving.

Venosi offers a la carte and a set menu, which changes daily:
2 courses and a glass of wine for £15.95 or three and a glass of wine for £18.95

87 Sloane Avenue,
London, SW3 3DX

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