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Da Scalzo Art Brasserie (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Da Scalzo Art Brasserie in Victoria, London

2 Eccleston Place, Belgravia, Victoria, London, SW1W 9NE
Cuisine: Italian Average Price: £50.00
Tel: 020 7730 5498 | Email to Da Scalzo Art Brasserie | Transport: Victoria | Write review

Da Scalzo Art Brasserie Review

It started back in the early noughties with gruesome twosome Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck being dubbed the sickening Bennifer by gleeful tabloid hacks. Their relationship may not have lasted but the trend for conjoined names did. Bennifer beget Brangelina who beget Samanda until the bizarre trend for portmanteaus reached its illogical conclusion this winter with X Factor's equally bizarre screeching twins Jedward (RIP).

I’m not one to fight against the zeitgeist, so where does that leave me with Belgravia's so-called gallery-cum-Italian-restaurant Da Scalzo? Is it a ‘restery’? A ‘gallerant’? Actually, I don't need to worry too much about that. Because no matter what their website and publicity says, it's not a gallery at all. Yes, there are paintings on the walls, and yes, they are by contemporary British artists, not bought wholesale from Ikea, but that still doesn't make it a gallery.

To start with, the pieces are hung above the other tables so to get a good look at any of the art would mean grossly infringing on the personal space - and penne arribiata - of your fellow diners. That's not to say that the art is unpleasant. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, providing a distraction from the otherwise pale wood decor that’s just a bit of, well, suburban Pizza Hut.

So if it's not a gallery what is it? One look at the menu answers that question. It's a classic Mediterranean restaurant. You've got bruschettas (tangy and crunchy), your antipasto (vast) and your array of pasta dishes and pizzas, which, from my not-so-discreet monitoring of other diners dishes, looked and smelt great. I opted for the bistecca di salmone, and was presented with tender grilled salmon livened up by peppery spinach and tangy salsa verde. The only let down was the undercooked potatoes that in my opinion weren't really necessary and made the dish bulkier than it needed to be. Meanwhile my friend made satisfied noises about her spiedini alla casa, sausage meat served on skewers.

Browsing the specials board whilst deciding whether I had room for dessert, I noticed that Da Scalzo also do breakfasts. With owners, brothers Roberto and Enzo Scalzo, cutting their culinary teeth at the phenomenally successful Patisserie Valerie chain, they are bound to be worth a go. But this was dinner not breakfast so I consoled myself with a boozy, creamy tiramisu, and a little taster of my friend's luxurious white and dark chocolate mousse.

So there's no doubt that the cheerful chef who waved at us from the open plan kitchen knows what he's doing, but what I liked most about Da Scalzo is it's casual, comfortable approach to dining. In fact our waiter could be described as clumsy, but who cares? Given the choice between the percussion of clattering cutlery and a snooty waiter I know what I'd choose every time. The waiting staff were friendly and attentive, and I was impressed by their ability to recommend a lovely Sicilian wine despite my limited description of what I fancied to drink ('Err, red and... grapey?')

Even on the half full weeknight that I was there, the other customers were enjoying themselves so there was a great atmosphere. It was easy to forget the maelstrom of November weather outside so we made the most of the laid back surroundings and lingered over coffee. When the time came to leave I realised that most of the other customers saying goodbye seemed to be regulars, giving the staff hearty handshakes and calling them by their first names. Not bad for a restaurant that's only been open just over a year.

I didn't have to think for too long to realise what it was that keeps those people coming back. Belying the grandiose 'bistro cum gallery' tag, Da Scalzo dodges the implied pretension and is a relaxed restaurant with good food, friendly staff and a buzzing atmosphere. Or going back to our trend for dubious word mash-ups, you could say it was a relaxurant with a buzzmoshere... Or not.
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Customer Reviews for Da Scalzo Art Brasserie

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 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 Da Scalzo Art Brasserie.

“I really like this restaurant but it's in hard to find in a back street, shared with no other shops or cafes or anything. A hidden gem maybe and one worth seeking out but I reckon it could do with some more passing trade?”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Hannah, London (8 years 8 months 16 days ago)

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