Why ‘our’? We are two Italians, Man–Woman in life, who live and work in London. We are two lovers of good food, keen restaurant goers, though we also cook a lot at home. We are fascinated by the restaurant business and by the ‘miracle’ that talented, dedicated people work hard to produce daily, of serving dozens and dozens of people with different demands on a tight time constraint. Up to last year we refused outright to go to any Italian restaurant in this country: we thought they were a rip off for the quality they offered. But in the last few years the Italian restaurant scene has changed so much that we thought we should revise our position, and share our experiences. We owe a debt to Viaggiatore Gourmet whose excellent photo based restaurant blog inspired our format.
Quality and prices vary considerably. While trying to find out information before a visit, we were often at odds afterwards with other reviewers. With respect to Italian restaurants, two factors are on our side: we have spent enough time in Italy to know what good Italian food is about, and enough time in the UK to know what pressures and constraints restaurants are under to make ends meet. So, to those Italians reading these pages: portions are often smaller than you would find in Italy, and prices (especially drinks) much higher – for a given quality. Front service and décor are almost as important as food.
We think it is possible to enjoy fine dining ‘on a budget’: not of £20, granted, but within the £100 mark for the couple, including service and wine. With a few exceptions, we will try hard to stick to our ‘£100 rule’. Our target is going to be mainly Italian restaurants (and mostly in London), but there will be variations, including some abroad. In each of our trips we’ll share each and every dish. When we differ in opinion, we’ll distinguish Man from Woman. To clarify some ‘technical’ aspects we will sometimes link to Gennarino: though in Italian, the step by step pictures hopefully will speak more than words.
We have the utmost respect for the professionals working in the kitchens and in the dining rooms we visit. When we express some critical comments, it is always with this in mind. Unless we state it explicitly, the restaurants we review are in a league well above average.
By the way, if you have not yet seen ‘Eat drink Man Woman’, you really should!