Another New York restaurant group has landed in London, and this time it’s from the team behind Scarpetta in Manhattan. It’s taken the place of Alain Ducasse’s Rivea at The Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge and anyone that remembers that set up won’t be able to recognise the place now. The main restaurant for Sette has been moved upstairs, whereas there’s now a bar called Nolita Social down below, a flip reverse of how it was before.
As you’d expect from any restaurant in Knightsbridge, let alone one at The Bulgari Hotel, Sette looks like it’s had a pretty healthy interior design budget thrown its way. There’s smooth wooden floors, comfy leather seats, lots of mirrors, cool modern light boxes, and a big statement wine fridge at one end of the room. The crowd is very Knightsbridge too – blokes in suits ordering expensive wines, and women with men that could be their dad or their date.
As with Scarpetta, the food at Sette is Italian but with a bit of New York swagger thrown in. First up on the menu is a selection of crudi and we can definitely recommend getting at least one of these. We went for the yellowtail which comes with pickled red onion, as well as the tuna with some marinated carrot, microgreens and preserved truffle, and this one probably just pipped it to be our favourite. We were planning on skipping the antipasti all together but our waiter insisted we had to get the creamy polenta with mushrooms and we’re glad he did – it was like eating a big bowl of mash but nowhere near as heavy.
When it came to pasta, we hadn’t done our research. Apparently the spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce is Scarpetta’s signature dish and is absolutely the ONE to order. However we just saw plain old tomato sauce and completely overlooked it, instead going for some excellent tagliatelle with crab, fresh spring peas, and pancetta, and the short rib and bone marrow agnolotti with garlic chips and horseradish. I mean, who can blame us?
Predicting that by this stage we would be nearing the point of food coma, we’d ordered just one main course, and a lighter one at that: king diver scallops with dots of purple potato puree and some little chanterelle mushrooms. Definitely don’t try to order any more than this, especially as you will want to save room for at least one dessert – we went for the cheesecake with Valrhona white chocolate, apricot compote and apricot sorbet.
In the mood for Italian food? These are the places to get it.
Knightsbridge Green, London SW1X 7QA