London: private dining for 12 at Evelyn's table
If one needed to summarize the experience at the underground old-cellar-turned-to-restaurant Evelyn’s Table, then “modern European cuisine with a strong emphasis on small-scale cooking and an interactive private meal for 12“ would be it.
Long time favorite chef Yotam Ottolengghi did it again. After building a name in London’s West End with his own name bakery, Ottolengghi started creating quite a few offerings in his ever expanding retail space in Soho. First it was Palomar and most recently it’s Evelyn’s Table: the most intimate dinner experience of them all.
The 12-seater bar (so budget your group accordingly) is set in the basement (and old wine cellar) of Blue Posts bar on what reminded us of the entrance concept of the good ol’ La Esquina in New York. A small, hard-working team of 3 tend to the exposed kitchen making sure they deliver the best small-batch dinner you’ve ever had. Fish is what the chef recommended us, although coming from a country where fish and seafood is at abundance I have to admit that fish was not their best card. Pasta on the other hand was indeed exactly that. And then some.
Yes, starters were very good with a couple of nice combinations on the salads front (think beets, nuts and other greens). Yes, the beef tartare with the cured egg sitting on top waiting to be manned with the little wooden spatula was also very good. But the freshly-made pasta… a trio of spaghetti, tagliatelle and linguini competing for the best dish.
Starting from bottom to top, the cacio e pepe was creamy and rich in flavour revealing that extra umami taste of butter. Then on, the beef ragu tagliatelle was also perfectly executed with a hearty portion of lightly shredded parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. And to top them all off, the linguini alla vongole, simmered in a buttery sauce with chilli and lime… one of the best pasta dishes to be ever had. Oh yes.
We also tried one of the three fish dishes on offer, a piece of turbot with vegetables and grapefruit that was perfectly cooked but didn’t really do it for us.
Regardless, hats off to a well-prepared team of cooks delivering a solid and unique offering in the heart of London.