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Artigiano (Restaurant)

Picture of Artigiano in Belsize Park & Chalk Farm, London

12A Belsize Terrace, Belsize Park & Chalk Farm, London, NW3 4AX
Cuisine: Italian Average Price: £30.00 excl. wine
Tel: 020 7794 4288 | Email to Artigiano | Transport: Belsize Park | Write review

Artigiano Review

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Best for: Inventive Italian cuisine; meal-matched wine.

Great: Ambiance; attentive, fast unobtrusive service; £16.50 two course dinner deal.

“Bordering Hampstead and named from the French ‘bel assis’, meaning ‘well situated’, Belsize Park lives up to its name. Although Belsize Park is in London, and part of the Borough of Camden, getting lost in Belsize, we feel like we've somehow strayed into a charming village rather than a miniscule part of a huge sprawling city.

At a junction of narrow alleyways and small independent shops, we leave the enormous ornate houses behind and duck into Artigiano, a peaceful haven for the stars. Once the site of a 17th century manor and parkland built especially for the Countess of Chesterfield, Belsize is still home to the rich and famous. Abounding with showbiz residents in the surrounding area, Artigiano is a regular haunt for many.

The good-natured restaurant manager, Luigi, boasts he's friends with Sadie Frost, Chris Evans, Emma Watson, Jim Broadbent and George Michael, among others! Behind us on a shelf, autographed wine bottles confirm his claim and Luigi's faultless knowledge of the menu and wine list suggests he's a skilled charmer who'd easily earn the respect of visiting VIPs.

Settling our debate over which wine to opt for, Luigi brings over a refreshing moreish crisp white Trebbiano and a selection of breads to get us started before my enormous mixed antipasto platter arrives. My companion has decided to keep up the exclusive experience by ordering the crab, lobster and asparagus timbale wrapped in spinach leaves.

Beautifully presented and generously portioned, both starters are swiftly followed by meaty mains of grilled rib-eye of beef and lamb cutlets with garlic and rosemary, accompanied by an exquisite sautéed spinach side dish. Like the atmosphere, the restaurant is light, bright and airy. Glass fronted and across three floors, Artigiano is already packed out in less than two hours. Luigi assures us booking a few weeks ahead for weekend dining is essential and looking at this Thursday night crowd I'm not surprised.

Although the restaurant is busy, the sizeable tables mean we aren't privy to the conversations of other diners; clearly an attractive feature for the big name regulars. Lost in this celebrity land, there's a truly authentic Italian experience with staff talking the language of lovers among themselves and the Italian chef cooking up seasonal menus of daring creative dishes, not for the unadventurous. The cheese comes with honey and there are no pizzas in sight, but my faithful favourite dessert is on the menu.

Ordering the predictable panna cotta and a warm chocolate souffle with strawberry sorbet, we soak in the glass slanted reflexive roof and Grecian style stone tablets decorating the walls. Artigiano is all about carefully crafted lighting and service beyond the norm. Savouring the remaining mouthfuls of two fittingly fantastic desserts, we watch Luigi walking customers to the door, clearly displaying his mastery of the art of making friends and influencing people.

Wisely choosing peace over the paparazzi, Artigiano has clearly won the celebrity vote. Alongside the autographed bottles is an Oscar, donated after a certain customer's Mississippi Burning win. In such close proximity to the rich and famous, we've almost rubbed a gold shoulder but disappointingly haven't dined beside one.

Leaving Artigiano and snaking around a neighbourhood of hidden talent, we fancy peering into windows, seeking out the Ray Winstones, Graham Coxons, Kate Winslets, Sean Beans, Jude Laws, Simon Peggs, Gallaghers and Gwyneth Paltrows. Briskly walking to the tube on a wet London night, I fail to house-spot two personal favourites (Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton) but my dining chum's still optimistic we might “accidentally” collide into Noel Fielding. Damp but contentedly full, we're still on the lookout for Belsize's modern Countesses.”

Having wearily read the restaurant review, Kate puts down the paper and turns to her equally famous chum Reese, shaking her head:

“Honestly, the British press are terrible sometimes; so inaccurate. I moved out of Belsize in 2004, not long before we met. I suppose they got their information from Wikipedia! Well that's one stuffed hack wasting their time, pointlessly trying to celebrity spot folks who've already moved on. Still the restaurant sounds lovely...”
...read more

Customer Reviews for Artigiano

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Artigiano.

“Overrated. Unprofessional staff who are rude. Food isn't very impressive ”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Graham shoebridge, Belsize park (4 months 9 days ago)

“Would definitely recommend this restaurant!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Bobo Blake, London (5 years 10 months 4 days ago)

“Top notch modern Italian cooking served in a very pleasant, light and airy environment. Been many times, never had a dud meal.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Italian Lover, London (9 years 27 days ago)

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Artigiano Opening Hours

Monday: 7:00pm - 11:00pm Friday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Tuesday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Saturday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Wednesday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: 11:45am - 11:00pm
Thursday: 11:45am - 2:30pm
7:00pm - 11:00pm
   

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Italian
  • Average Price: £30.00 excl. wine
  • Dress Code: Smart/Casual
  • Group: Independent

Artigiano Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Italian
  • Average Price: £30.00 excl. wine

Artigiano Food Menu

Artigiano's seasonal changing menu, devised by Tiziano Invernizzi , reflects the expertise of a most proficient kitchen. As Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard once remarked, "the skill of the chef shines through some of the quite imaginative dishes."
Maschler praised the innovative Spaghetti alla Carbonara di Mare, a memorable dish. But one of the most popular on the menu is one of Artigiano's signature dishes, Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Scottish langoustine and fennel - simply a must have!

Updated 12/05/2011

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Artigiano Hire Details

Private hire available on request.

Updated 15/08/2008

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Venue ID: 4381

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Loved

"This place is simply awesome, I snuck an invite to the opening party, and what a party that was! I'll be a regular here for sure." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Absolutely loved this place, one of the best meals I've had in ages, mostly because everything tasted so damn good and we had such a laugh in there. It's pretty small, so make sure to book in advance..." Which venue is this?

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