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Avista in London: Italian Comfort Food with a Twist

Avista in London: Italian Comfort Food with a Twist

FOOD + WINE, LONDON

Avista Restaurant is a hidden gem in London when it comes to fine dining. It is located in the beautiful and exclusive Mayfair neighborhood which is famous for its high end restaurants. Nestled right in front of the lovely Grosvenor Square, Avista is rapidly becoming one of the best Italian restaurants in London.

At Avista, talented Chef Arturo Granato takes Southern Italian food to another level. Picture an Italian grandmother’s delicious comfort food with a contemporary twist! It’s no surprise that under the direction of Chef Arturo, Avista has been awarded 3 Rosettes by the prestigious AA Food Guide.

Chef Arturo, Avista Restaurant

From the moment I entered, I was treated like royalty. Everyone was so welcoming, helpful, and excited to share with me their inventive menu which changes seasonally. With the low lights and leather seating, I was incredibly comfortable and ready for some fine dining by candlelight. I quickly noticed an impressive granite-topped preparation area in the middle of the restaurant where diners can observe Chef Arturo and his team putting the finishing touches to their dishes before service. This was definitely a special touch and just one of the reasons why Avista is a unique dining experience.

The wonderful manager Fabio treated us to welcome canapés and an amuse bouche. The canapés were very artistic and consisted of a macaroon of beetroot meringue with duck mousse and hazelnut praline, as well as a crispy tapioca with buffalo mozzarella cream and tomato and oregano powder. Both were melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the combination of flavors were unique but worked perfectly together. As for the amuse bouche, we enjoyed peas with apple foam, baby shrimps, mint cress and mint oil! It was so light, tasty, and a great way to start our dinner. Before the starters came out, I enjoyed one of their signature cocktails made with Port, Chambord, and lemon juice.

After reading over the menu thoroughly, I decided to stick with sea food dishes for the night as there were go many amazing options. We also chose to have wine pairings with each dish which was a fabulous decision. Fabio’s wine recommendations were spot on. For my starter, I enjoyed Orkney scallops with black ink squid, fennel, and coral dressing. I can’t forget to mention the amazing bread selection. My favorite was their focaccia bread and bacon butter. Yes, you read that right! Avista is full of surprises.

My friend and I shared their lobster spaghetti which was cooked to perfection. For my main, I chose their delicious Mediterranean sea bass with Pantelleria caper, clams, and Taggiasca olive while my friend enjoyed the herb smoked pigeon, celeriac, plum, and a touch of chocolate. As a side, I was really happy I chose the potato croquettes. They’re nice and crispy on the outside, but the potato inside was perfectly whipped. The portions were absolutely perfect, which thankfully meant we had room for dessert!

Avista serves a very epic tiramisú. The flavors are spot on but the presentation will blow you away. As you can see in the photo below, it’s not your typical tiramisú but you’ll be happy with every bite.

We couldn’t help ourselves and just had to order their Italian cheese board with homemade compote; a perfect way to end the meal. However, Fabio surprised us with delicious bite-sized desserts which included cheesecake (my favorite) so my expectations overall were definitely exceeded.

In the evenings, Avista is perfect for an intimate date or other special occasions. It’s not too far from the West End theaters, so pre or post show drinks would also be a great idea. I noticed they have a great offer for an “express lunch” which starts at £16 for 1 course, £21 for 2 courses, and just £26 for 3 courses.

London locals and tourists alike should absolutely make their way to Avista and treat themselves to a memorable and exquisite Italian meal.

AVISTA RESTAURANT, 39 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

10 Comments

  1. Tam Warner Minton
    May 9, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    Reply

    How lovely it all looks! Beautiful photos of FOOD!!!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Thanks! It was such a fabulous meal.

  2. Paula - Gone with the Wine
    May 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm
    Reply

    Wow, those foods look like art. I can imagine they must of also been delicious! I am a huge fan of scallops and the dish looks amazing! I will need to remember this place when visiting in London.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Yes, definitely write it down! And they were works of art for sure.

  3. Evelyne CulturEatz
    May 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm
    Reply

    You had me at scallops and bacon butter 🙂 Looks amazing and love the idea of the prep table in the restaurant.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Ha, the bacon butter was very impressive!

  4. Francesca
    May 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm
    Reply

    First of all, is Chef Arturo old enough to have a job?? LOL he looks so young! Such inventive presentations of the different foods. Looks like an incredible dining experience!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 11, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Ha! He is such a young and talented chef. Incredible.

  5. Tami
    May 11, 2017 at 10:04 am
    Reply

    Presentation is everything! What spectacularly designed and presented food!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 11, 2017 at 11:55 am

      The quality and deliciousness of the food is first on my list and then the presentation. They knocked both out of the park!

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