Zafferano has been around since 1995, set on the south east corner of Lowndes Square in Belgravia. For more history and comments on the extensive but entertainingly priced wine list see my previous reviews. The dining room has two main sections and tables are generously spaced, with a bar area to the left as you enter.
Venison ragu was served with orecchiette, a pasta from Apulia in southern Italy named because the shape resembles a small ear. The pasta had nice texture, but the venison ragu was for me a touch dry and could have had deeper flavour. It was fine, but there are better versions of ragu than this (13/20).
Tagliolini with white truffle was excellent, the pasta having good texture and the Alba white truffles having lovely fragrance, the bouquet of the truffle arriving at the table well before the dish appeared at the table (15/20). Vitello tonnata (veal with tuna mayonnaise) that I tasted was also good, as was a simple but enjoyable seared tuna with rocket and cherry tomato salad, which had particularly sweet cherry tomatoes (15/20).
Saffron risotto was as good as ever, silky smooth in texture, the aged carnaroli rice (from Acquarello) having absorbed the chicken stock and butter from the cooking, the rice coloured with little flecks of red from the saffron (16/20). For dessert, cheesecake was very pleasant, having pleasant texture and coming with sour cherry ice cream (14/20).
Service was good, though it seemed quite stretched tonight. Like just about all London restaurants now, I gather that they are struggling to attract and retain staff. The bill came to £183 per person, but that was with a white truffle dish and plenty of good wine, including a couple of glasses of gorgeous Antinori Tignanello. If you shared a modest bottle of wine between two then a more typical cost per person for three courses might be around £95. Zafferano is a reliable Italian restaurant with some particularly nice dishes, with its saffron risotto and pasta being excellent.Book