AVISTA is a two AA rosette contemporary Italian restaurant at Millennium Hotel London Mayfair situated in Grosvenor Square just a short walk away from Oxford Street in one of London’s chicest districts. The restaurant is the perfect location for hungry Londoners who enjoy modern Italian cuisine and the feeling of having stumbled upon an off-the-radar gem in Rome.
The restaurant’s interior has been brought to life by celebrated designer David d’Almadqa which sets the mood with a cool ambience making this location both light and spacious, whilst retaining a chic and “Mayfair” feel. The main focus of AVISTA is the granite square upon which your chefs prepare the final touches to the dishes before your very eyes.
Open for lunch and dinner, in addition to the A La Carte dinner menu, AVISTA offers a Lunch & Early Evening set menu (£23 for two courses or £28 for three) and there is also a range of reinvigorating Italian wines for you to choose from including many by the glass.
Written in Italian with English translations, the A La Carte menu frequently surprises and delights diners with a range of eclectic dishes which take advantage of the very best local seasonal produce. Such an imaginative menu could only come from the mind of an imaginative and authentic Italian chef and that’s exactly what AVISTA has in the form of executive chef, Arturo Granato.
Hailing from the Amalfi Coast with years of experience at some of the best Michelin starred restaurants in Italy and London, Chef Arturo has heralded his arrival at AVISTA by given the menu an elegant twist and his new autumnal 2015 menu offers simple sophistication on a plate in a way that only the finest Italian cuisine can. Talking about the menu, Arturo explains, “Cooking is about more than just preparing the dish, it’s about being able to pass on the emotions that you feel when cooking. I try to be innovative with my style and although my technique is contemporary I make sure to keep the true essence of the product and ingredients I use”.
Chef Arturo’s commitment to culinary excellence shines through and not only is all the pasta lovingly handmade but the most delicious Italian bread imaginable is baked in-house. We were delighted to be invited to sample the new menu for ourselves.
The SLOAN! Review
Having met my dining companion earlier that evening to enjoy some pre-dinner drinks at one of my favourite Mayfair bars, we walked the short distance to AVISTA and entered with anticipation to try Chef Arturo’s new autumnal menu.
As we ruminated on the culinary delights of the menu, deliciously dainty breads were served. We commented on the wise choice to offer smaller portions of bread as to not overwhelm the appetite.
Some interesting gastronomic creations were also offered to us to whet our appetites for what was to come.
After taking time to consider the menu, I chose the Smoked Duck Breast served with foie gras, licorice, pomegranate, hazelnut and gingerbread which was artistically presented on the plate.
My dining companion was drawn to the Hand Picked Cornish Crab served with samphire, Granny Smith apple puree, pickled shallots and Chef Arturo’s innovative coconut snow made with a special technique which we discovered more about it from Chef Arturo himself later but were sworn to secrecy so to find out the secret, you’ll have to go to AVISTA yourself!
After such a promising start to the meal, we looked forward to sampling some of the contemporary Italian dishes from the eclectic range of mains. My friend chose the Cornish Turbot with black cabbage, cous cous, avocado, samphire and mussels.
For my main course I went for the slow cooked North Atlantic Monkfish in gremolada with fondant artichoke, Parma ham and squid.
After finishing our mains, we were joined by Chef Arturo who although young in years has a talent far superior to many twice his age. His experience shines through not only in his passion when describing how he prepares the food but his approach in designing dishes. His instincts drive much of his culinary creations and he comes across fearless in experiementing with combinations which allows him to display his talents which are part innate and part his experience in Michelin starred kitchens. Chef Arturo treated us to a special selection of tasting dishes to allow us to enjoy more dishes from his culinary repertoire. One of our favourites was the Mezze Maniche with shellfish, chilli, chickpea cream and mullet bottarga.
For those who enjoy veal, why not try the Veal Ossobuco Ravioli here served with candied ginger, broccoli, Tuscany Pecorino and black truffle.
To end the meal we shared the Valrhona 70% dark chocolate sphere adorned with gold leaf containing a delicious pistachio mousse served with pistachio ice cream and mandarin sorbet.
I loved the way Chef Arturo used the three different textures of mousse, ice cream and gold coated nuts to demonstrate the versatility of the pistachio flavour in the same dish.
For those unfortunate not to have savoured its contemporary cuisine, we can best describe AVISTA as an Italian holiday for the taste buds!
39 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP
020 7596 3399