Editor's note: in November 2013 Cotidie was sold to Corbin and King, who will open a restaurant on the site in 2014 called Fischer’s. The notes below should therefore be treated as of historical interest only.
In July 2013 Bruno Barbieri returned to Italy. The head chef at Cotidie is now Marco Tozzi, previously head chef at one Michelin-starred Ristorante la Casa degli Spiriti. The menu is a little simpler now, with starters £12 to £18, pasta dishes from £16 to £20, main courses £24 to £30, and two differing length tasting menus at £60 and £75.
Nibbles of tapenade on thin toast, and melted cheese in a little brioche were pleasant (14/20). Bread, in particular strega and grissini, had very good texture (15/20). An amuse bouche of a little artichoke salad with raw langoustine and bottarga was decent, but for me the mullet roe distracted from the langoustine (13/20). Much better was a light Gorgonzola flan, which had excellent texture, served with deep-fried porcini and some nuts, which provided a useful textural contrast to the flan (16/20). Sardines were served in three ways, the best being a gratin, also grilled and pickled, with good pickled red onions (14/20). Tagliolini with tuna had good pasta had well-made pasta, but the tuna was a bit overcooked, which the tomato, pine nut and capers could not disguise (13/20).
Red prawn tartare came with tortellini stuffed with liquid burrata cheese and clams, a pleasant combination (14/20). Dover sole with cauliflower, soya emulsion and candied lemon suffered from being too salty, even to my taste (13/20). Better was veal wrapped in speck, with foie gras mousse and sautéed cabbage, a quite rich but very enjoyable dish (15/20).
Service was excellent, with water and wine carefully topped up throughout the meal, our waiter friendly and helpful. The pace of the dishes was rather slow, but this was a busy Saturday service. The bill came to £119 a head, but that was with some very good wine. Mineral water was an excessive £4.50, good coffee £4. If you ordered a modest wine then a three-course meal with coffee and mineral water would come to around £85 a head. Overall, although I quite enjoyed the meal, I feel that the cooking has slipped a notch since the departure of the talented Bruno Barbieri, and the food is now not only quite ambitious but is also ambitiously priced.