February 25, 2012

Gosh time goes fast! Now I’m blogging about a place I visited last weekend!!! Not good, but I still want to write about it as we had a fantastic time there with two of my friends.
Ah, Italian food… I feel like I’m eating that all the time these days. But there’s a reason for that: it’s one of the best!

So last Sunday we were around Covent Garden and wanted to try a new place, but discovered they were selling only paninis and salads. Not in the mood for that during the weekend… so we ended up at Machiavelli, another place I wanted to try, for our greater delight 🙂

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver. Niccolo Machiavelli

Well no deception here, my dear Niccolo!

Located near Covent Garden, Machiavelli is appealing even from outside, where you can have a quick insight of the cakes counter and take away delicatessen. It seems quite small with a large rustic communal table hidden behind the counter plus a few bistro tables around. But this is without counting the dining room downstairs! However I’m not a big fan of eating underground, so I’d definitely recommend to get a table on the ground floor even if you need to wait a bit. People there are nice and relax – no stress, no pressure. You can even borrow books about Tuscany or art if you want to travel to sunny countries while waiting for your meal.

We enjoyed the pasta al forno of the day: rigatoni with beef, aubergines, basil and tomato sauce plus parmigiano on top. It was very tasty, well-cooked and actually served in good portions. When plates arrived, we were sceptical about quantities, but at then end we were feeling surprisingly full!
Some people around us ordered the antipasti board (for two) composed of usual Italian starters such as cured meats, artichokes, pates etc. and seemed to enjoy it. So if you like charcuterie, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be disappointed by this choice.

After a good pause, the serious time of dessert arrived. Their menu offers a very nice selection of Italian puds, such as tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato and other sweet treats. I ordered a panna cotta with berries on the recommendation of the waiter (who, by the way, had a perfect Italian style!), but it happened that they unfortunately were out of stock of berries so… no panna cotta for me that day… However the cake counter smiled at me and the flourless chocolate cake was finally a very good option 🙂 It was sweet and light at the same time with a soft inside, served with a spoon of cream on the side. One of my friend went for the almonds and honey cake that caught her attention at first sight. Absolutely fabulous. I warmly recommend that one. While I was starring at their massive muffins that I’ll probably try next time, my other friend was enjoying his strawberry tart – very tasty too.

We maybe spent 3h at Machiavelli and really enjoyed its casual but elegant atmosphere. The staff might look, at the very beginning, a bit cold, but then our waiter was lovely and very helpful. The service was fairly quick and I liked the fact that you can take your time, nobody will rush you even if some people are waiting for a table (which isn’t unusual around Covent Garden…).

> Verdict: I could have put slightly more, but I’ve got to say the place remains a bit pricey even if delicious. Count around £7 for starters, £13 for pasta bake, and ~£5 for desserts. I will definitely go back, probably mostly for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake (given their prices). Nice on your own or accompanied.
Oh and on our way back, we needed a little booster to brave the rain, so we gave in one more “mignardise” called madeleine 🙂 sold by pack of 3 for £1.50. One each, perfect match. They were ideal, although a bit dry, to keep us busy at cinema in front of “Extremely loud and incredibly close” – excellent movie by the way.

> Tips:

  • Nice venue for private parties, either corporate or personal
  • Imported Italian products, presented as a “gourmet store”, to take home – I litteraly wanted to buy everything
  • Italian brunch on Sundays – need to try that one

Infos: Machiavelli – 69 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9JS – 020 7240 2125 – Covent Garden station – open 12.30pm-3pm and 5.30pm-10pm Monday to Saturday, brunch 9am-5pm on Sundays

Machiavelli Kitchen & Dining Room on Urbanspoon

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