Pitt Cue grows up

Saturday, March 26th , 2016

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Pitt Cue made quite a stir when it opened in its cramped Soho premises, offering American barbecue in surroundings that could politely be called basic. Now it has grown up and moved to one of the new developments around the City. It has a much larger dining room and a custom-made American grill, and you can even make a reservation. The larger and better equipped kitchen seems to have given the food a boost too, and there was more consistency at this visit than I recall from the Soho premises. In particular, smoked mangalitsa pork neck was terrific, with gloriously rich, deep flavour. Other dishes were enjoyable too, such as well-seasoned potato cakes, but the barbecued meat is really the draw. 

Pizzicotto is a relatively new Italian restaurant featuring the cuisine of Emilia Romagna. It is an off-shoot of Il Portico, a restaurant that has lasted almost fifty years in Kensington. Pizzicotto’s produce is high quality, shown with high class culatello ham and San Marzano tomatoes. The pizza dough uses stone-ground flour from the Apennines, and the attention to detail shows in the excellent Neapolitan-style crust. Desserts could be improved, but this is clearly a restaurant that is making an effort, and there are some bargains on the wine list too. The pizza itself is up there with the best in London.

Madhu’s at The Sheraton is the younger, smarter sibling of the long-established Madhu’s in Southall. Tucked away inside the Sheraton Skyline hotel near Heathrow, the restaurant very smart, with two attractive semi-private rooms as well as the sprawling main dining area. Of more interest to me than the red leather is what is in the kitchen: a robata grill. This allows charcoal-grilling, so dishes like a tandoori lamb chop or whole sea bass end up with a pleasing smoky flavour from the charcoal. Other dishes are successful too, such as the terrific cauliflower curry here, with excellent texture and carefully balanced spices. If you are ever in the Heathrow area and want to eat classy Indian food in a  smart setting then this is for you.