Finding five romantic Italian restaurants in London is hardly a challenge, but finding truly mouthwateringly sensual food is. Here are the top five picks from a veteran of London's dining scene:
Clos Maggiore's Located in Covent Garden close to more theaters than you can shake a stick at, Maggiore's offers frequent prix fixe menus for theatre-goers booking a table before a show. While the cuisine pays as much homage to Tuscan cuisine as it does to classic Provençal dishes, it takes advantage of the best of local British produce. This means that the menu frequently changes to adjust to English seasonality, but the beautifully decorated interior will give you the feeling of being in a Mediterranean courtyard surrounded by trees, moonlight – and this is no illusion – wonderful food. Clos Maggiore's: 33 King Street, London WC2E 8JD, United Kingdom Tel: (+1) 020 7257 6262
- Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho What could be more Italian than pizza? A big-time chain found on every high street in the United Kingdom, this particular branch offers the unique combination of delicious Italian food and romantic live performances from some Europe's most talented jazz artists. The head chef, Antonio Romani, born and bred in Calbria, Italy has been divising authentic Italian flavours for affordable prices for over 20 years. Pizza Express is now in collaboration with the hot Italian chef, Francesco Mazzei, introducing more Southern Italian dishes all the time. The closest tube station is Tottenham Court Road. Pizza Express: 10 Dean Street, London W1D 3, United Kingdom Tel: (+1) 020 7437 9595
- Bertorelli Founded in 1913, this romantic Italian restaurant in London's Fitzrovia has been immortalized in the movie 'Sliding Doors' with Gwenyth Paltrow. The exterior of the building will look familiar to you as the restaurant her character visits to cheer herself up after getting the sack. The stylish and unintrusive interior leave you and your date the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the exquisite Italian cuisine. On request, you may also visit Angela's Room, which was named for a waitress who served Bertorelli customers for over 50 years. 19 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia London W1T 1RL Tel: (+1) 020 7636 4174
Etrusco Conveniently located a stone's throw away from Mornington Crescent tube station, Koko's and Camden Market, this seemingly hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant exudes classic Italian charm and gorgeous Italian flavours at very reasonable prices. Open until late, this romantic restaurant is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Camden High Street, and perfectly situated close to the action, too. 1 Hardwick Street, London NW1 2JE, United Kingdom, Tel: (+1) 020 7388 6042
The River Café The higher prices will justify themselves as you and your date are seated with a gorgeous view of the Thames and are treated to Michelin-starred cuisine. Former partners in The River Café, Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray have no fewer than six internationally successful cookbooks based on the food served at this romantic restaurant. The nearest tube station is Hammersmith and can be reached on the Hammersmith & City lines. Thames Wharf, London W6 9HA Tel: (+1) 020 7386 4200
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You're not off the hook: This list includes dessert.