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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.

30 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!

  6. Tarah
    June 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    Well now I’m hungry!!! Even though I literally just ate haha this looks absolutely amazing!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Ha, it made me hungry all over again while writing!

  7. Kavey Favelle
    June 26, 2017 at 3:22 am
    Reply

    It looks and sounds delicious, and I love that you can watch the chef at work, I enjoy that too!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      I know, that was such a fun and unique aspect!

  8. Paul
    June 26, 2017 at 4:25 am
    Reply

    Wow all of the food looks amazing and has now made me so hungry! Really love the presentation that goes into every dish too! Also the prices for the express lunch are amazing!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      I know, I was really impressed!

  9. Elisa
    June 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm
    Reply

    This Arturo looks so young! And by your words I guess he has a big career behind already! Italian food is my favorite kind of food so I would not mind trying one of these dishes by myself. Oh, this reminds me I have not been to London since many moons!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Yes, so young and talented! It’s time to plan another trip to London I think 🙂

  10. Emily
    June 27, 2017 at 5:04 am
    Reply

    Well all of that looks absolutely delicious! I was expecting the prices to be much higher – what a nice surprise. I’ll have to go here when I’m next in the big smoke!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I know, it was definitely a nice surprise!

  11. Jade Mortimer
    June 28, 2017 at 12:09 am
    Reply

    i love the idea of being able to watch the finishing touches of the meal!! also those prices are amazing! would love to visit here.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      I hope you get to, Jade! It’s a great London restaurant.

  12. Kayla Manoe
    June 29, 2017 at 11:03 pm
    Reply

    Oh those dishes look incredible! I love fine dining desserts the best! I would have so done what you did and order the cheese board aswell!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      The cheeses were to die for, Kayla!

  13. Sandy N Vyjay
    June 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm
    Reply

    Avista seems to epitomize the spirit of Italian cuisine. The strong familial culture of Italy is reflected in its cuisine and I can see that this comes to the fore in the food served up by Avista. The presentation is spectacular too. The place definitely makes for a great dining experience.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      You’re absolutely right! Thanks for reading, Sandy 🙂

  14. Mink Borwornsenee
    June 30, 2017 at 4:04 am
    Reply

    I’m visiting London soon so will probably give this place a try! The food look totally amazing!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      That’s great to hear! I hope you have a lovely time in London.

  15. April
    June 30, 2017 at 5:09 am
    Reply

    They look so good! It’s been a while since i’ve eaten scallops. >_<
    Thanks for sharing:)

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      You’re welcome! Every bite was just delicious.

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