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.
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