It’s no secret that we at CutTheCap enjoy our food. So nothing pleases us more than when we are invited to try somewhere new… In the crosshairs was ORSO – the Pioneers of Italian gastronomy.
In the heart of London’s theatre district, just behind Covent Garden Piazza, lies this premium destination restaurant but we have to cast our minds back also 30 years to when they first opened their doors in 1985 and fast became the West End’s favourite Italian restaurants.
In 2014 it’s one of the last remaining independent Italian restaurants in Covent Garden which we suspect is largely down to its unique offering and outstanding service.
It hard to know where to start with this one as in all seriousness everything was top notch so the beginning would seem as good a place as any.
Once you reach the olive tree you have reached the discreet entrance to ORSO and begins your your journey into simple, authentic Italian cuisine. Believe it or not its set in a former orchid warehouse which delivers an atmospheric subterranean space that has soft lighting with original glazed brick columns, crisp white tablecloths, leather banquettes and antique mirrors. We told you this place was good!
ORSO also prides itself on its welcoming, knowledgeable team and service… we were greeted by Alan, the manager, who seemed to have a sixth sense – every time we wanted something he was already getting it for us, including a nice glass of Prosecco to start proceedings – now thats service! And our waitress, who was absolutely lovely actually gave options on the food and made some superb recommendations (which we’ll come onto in a minute…)
Oh wait not in a minute – now! THE FOOD. Wow.com.
Since opening in 1985, ORSO has strived to make fresh, artisanal Italian products available in the UK, including buffalo mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto. Classic dishes including Maiale Arrosto; roast pork belly with Hispi cabbage and roast potatoes and Fegato di Vitello; pan fried thinly sliced calf’s liver, are always available.
We went for the Insalata di Bufala (Buffalo Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato, Basil, Aged Balsamic) and the Vitello Tonnato (Roast Veal, Tuna Sauce, Fried Capers) and both of these classic dishes were perfect. The mozzerella just the right amount of creaminess and the veal had mountains of taste.
There was also the chef special of crispy thin garlic pizza bread. Put simply is. it. amazing!
For main we selected the Maiale Arrosto and Filetto di Manzo (Grilled Fillet Steak, Tender Stem Broccoli, Wild Mushrooms). Both got the thumbs up from CutTheCap with each of us declaring the dish we had one of the best we had ever tasted. For this reviewer the steak (cooked medium rare) was juicy, tender, fat-lines free and full of favour. Every. bit. gone!
Desserts are equally tempting, with sweet treats including ORSO’s infamous flourless chocolate cake, affogato; coffee with ice-cream and orange & almond cake, served with berries and mascarpone cheese.
It was the Torta al Limone (Lemon Curd on Crumbed Oat Biscuit, Meringue & Candied Citrus) and the Chocolate Truffle Mousse with Malted cream that took our fancy. There was a clear winner though – Torta al Limone! Every mouthful has the right amount of sweetness and freshness. You have to try it!
We’ll on a note of a little known fact… the restaurant is named after the owners dog!