Sartoria was re-launched in December 2015 with new head chef Francesco Mazzei, who since 2008 had been head chef at Anima. The Savile Row premises are large, with two private dining rooms, terrace and bar in addition to the main dining area. At one time a Conran restaurant, it is now owned by D&D Restaurants. It manages that rarest of creatures in a London restaurant: comfortable chairs.
The wine list ranged in price from £18 to £800, with selections such as Cantina Frentana Trebbiano 2013 at £25 for a bottle that can be found in the high street for £8, the pleasant Planeta Chardonnay 2013 at £70 compared to a shop price of £23, and the lovely Jermann “Were Dreams” 2013 at a hefty £155 for a bottle with a retail price of £49. The prestige wines are marked up heavily, with Gaya and Rei 2013 Chardonnay at £350 compared to a high street price of £145, and Aldo Conterno Granbussia 2006 at £800 compared to a current market value of £325.
Bread is made in the kitchen and included a good olive bread and particularly grissini (bread sticks). Burrata with smoked aubergine and torpedino tomatoes was garnished with basil leaves. The burrata was good, as was the aubergine, and the tomatoes were apparently from Sicily though their flavour was less than dazzling (13/20). I had the classic Roman dish carbonara, the pasta carefully made, an egg cut open at the table, the guanciale (pork jowl) adding depth of flavour. I preferred the version at Roscioli in Rome but this was certainly very good (14/20).
Lobster tagliolini had excellent shellfish, tender and the meat extracted from its shell. The pasta had very good texture though personally I found that the lobster shell rather got in the way (14/20). Even better was saffron risotto with chicken livers, made with Grana Padano cheese, a type of hard cheese that originated near Milan. The carnaroli rice had lovely texture, the stock with it was excellent, the saffron not overpowering the dish, the liver accurately cooked (15/20). A side salad of rocket on the side was pleasant but could have had a better dressing.
Service was good, led by a manager who used to work at the late lamented Apsleys. The bill came to £75 with a decent wine to share. If you ordered a modest wine and had dessert and coffee then a typical cost per head might be £80. Overall I enjoyed my meal at Sartoria, which was not striving for anything fancy but offered simple but carefully made Italian food. This is a large venue but the standard of cooking was consistently good.Book