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Caravaggio (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Caravaggio in City of London, London

Bankside House, 107-112 Leadenhall Street, City of London, London, EC3A 4AA
Cuisine: Italian Average Price: £35.00
Tel: 0207 626 6206 | Email to Caravaggio | Transport: Aldgate | Write review

Caravaggio Review

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Best for: lunch on expenses.

Great: service; traditional Italian cooking with a twist.

I got given 500 business cards by work, but I’m not so good at handing them out. I gave one to my mother. She was proud – ‘my boy’s an editor,’ she said. When I hand one to someone I meet through my work, I say ‘You’re the first person I’ve given a business card to who isn’t my mother.’ It’s a joke. Both times I’ve told it, people have laughed.

I don’t think Caravaggio is really for people like me. It’s for people who wear cufflinks and have nice teeth and pinstriped suits and firm handshakes and hand out business cards to people who aren’t their mothers while saying things like ‘let’s catch up soon,’ and ‘don’t worry: I’ll get this’ without worrying that the person they’re with will say ‘you can’t say that; you’re wearing a brown zip up cardigan and you look like you might cut your own hair. Moron.’

I think our waiter has noticed that I don’t really belong here, but he’s still very friendly. He takes my brown cardigan to the cloakroom and hands me the wine list. I give it to Bea, who asks for a bottle of Sancerre. He smiles, and congratulates us on our choice. I wrack my brains for something appropriate to say, and blurt out: ‘I’ve never drunk Sancerre in this country before.’ Bea tuts. I apologise. I don’t know why I say these things.

I taste the wine and nod in the waiter’s direction, pulling a serious face to let him know I understand wine. I look up at the high, white ceilings, and the Art Deco light fittings. ‘I wonder if heaven has a mezzanine floor?’ I think to myself. I say to Bea, ‘It’s a nice place, isn’t it?’ She has a bit of her wine, and agrees, ‘Yes, but I don’t think it’s really for people like us.’

I order asparagus with quail’s eggs and hollandaise for my starter. It’s good, but there’s not much you can say about asparagus with quail’s eggs and hollandaise, to be honest. I try to think what a proper food writer would put in a review. ‘It’s a well balanced and subtle dish,’ I tell Bea, looking over and feeling jealous about her beef carpaccio with shimeji mushrooms. ‘Do you want a bit?’ She gives me a mouthful to taste.

I have rump of lamb with tarragon jus, olives and crushed potatoes for my main. It’s a revelation. ‘This is a revelation,’ I say to Bea. ‘It looks a treat. There’s a real confidence to the cooking and a saltiness and earthiness to the flavours. The lamb is still the star, but it’s by no means a one man show.’ She gives me a look, which seems to say ‘You’ve changed.’

The waiter comes over as I’m finishing off Bea’s seafood linguine. I’ll engage him in a conversation, I decide; show him I know what I’m talking about; prove that I’m no novice in this journey of culinary discovery, but a serious food writer, ready to speak to a fellow enthusiast about a shared passion. ‘The lamb dish was absolutely delicious,’ I say. ‘An inspired marriage of flavours – where do you get your meat?’ He says he doesn’t know, but agrees that it’s very good meat. He asks if we would like anything more to drink.

He comes back again after we’ve eaten our desserts and asks if we’ve enjoyed our meal. We nod our heads and say ‘thank you very much for making us feel so welcome.’ He smiles and looks humble, and asks me which website I write for. I tell him, and he looks impressed. ‘I look forward to reading your review,’ he says. ‘Do you have a business card?’ I look in my wallet. I seem to have left them at the office. Moron. more

Ben Brill

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Caravaggio Opening Hours

Monday: 11:45am - 3:00pm
6:30pm - 10:00pm
Friday: 11:45am - 3:00pm
6:30pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday: 11:45am - 3:00pm
6:30pm - 10:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Wednesday: 11:45am - 3:00pm
6:30pm - 10:00pm
Sunday: Closed
Thursday: 11:45am - 3:00pm
6:30pm - 10:00pm

Additional Information

Caravaggio Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Italian
  • Average Price: £35.00

Caravaggio Food Menu

The approach to food at Caravaggio is based upon a commitment to using only the finest and freshest ingredients, with the restaurant employing its own buyer to search out the very best produce, rather than depend exclusively upon its suppliers. Cristian Roncari has re-invented the classic Italian menu, insisting that everything be homemade with assiduous attention to detail. Consequently, the pasta is sublime and the risotto a revelation.

Updated 12/05/2011

Special offers, discounts and deals at Caravaggio

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2 courses set lunch and dinner menu for £17.50 per person

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Venue ID: 1928

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