Ritorno – Luxurious & Authentic Aperitivo in Chelsea

May 3, 2017

We’ve fallen head over heels for newly launched Ritorno in Chelsea.  London’s first authentic Aperitivo Bar and Kitchen on the King’s Road has everything you could want from an uber stylish, sophisticated hangout, with a true passion for food, flavour and fresh ingredients, along with cocktails which are most definitely made with Milanese love.

Visit Ritorno in the evening to experience it at its very best.  With the most beautifully lit marble bar and counters, a stunning butterfly backdrop wall covering and sumptuous furnishings for each and every one of its 80 covers, the restaurant oozes glamour and opulence from every corner, courtesy of Milanese designer Ingrid Nardilli.

We visited on a Saturday night and we’d recommend you do too.  We managed to secure some great seats at the bar while head mixologist and ex-Ritz Head Barman Paolo Viola created some pretty special theatre for us.  For a truly unique cocktail experience, you can choose your drink of from four different sections of the menu – Regional Specialities, Bollicine (bubbly), Classics and Specials.

Each drink should stimulate the senses in the way an impactful sonnet or poem would.  We tried a classic Negroni which Ritorno have given their own twist.  With Italian craft gin and an exclusive vermouths, the team produce a drink which has been aged in-house in a Marsala-washed oak barrel.  The result?  A Delight.  Negroni, but better. Another amazing cocktail we tried was the Sardegna – a heady blend of Stolichnaya vodka, Mirto Silvio Carta (a traditional Sardinian liquer) and a homemade spicy blueberry syrup.  There’s also a lavender air mist sprayed over the drink which will transport you to the Milanese countryside in a heartbeat.

The waiting staff are all super gorgeous.  Stop gawking at them long enough to browse the menu and you’ll find some delicious inventive dishes – there’s 40 cichetti plates to choose from all with that true authentic taste of Italia, created by Head Chef Filippo Salzano.  The staff have some great cocktail / food pairings, or go for one of their fabulous bottles of wines – the list is extensive.

On the recommendation of Paolo and because we’re huge fans of parmigiana style dishes, we just had to go for the Parmigiana in Crosta Di Pane (£10.50).  This is a classic aubergine melanzane parmigiana, inside a homemade ‘pasty’ style bread crust.  When you cut into it, the rich tomato sauce just comes oozing out.  Such a standout dish.  It’s recommended you go for around 3 to 4 sharing plates and I’d say that was definitely the right amount after you’ve devoured a basket of freshly baked bread…

Another dish you must try is the Guancia Di Manzo Con Polenta Morbida.  A bowlful of tender braised beef cheek which just melted in the mouth served with a soft polenta.  My mouth still waters thinking about it!

The octopus plate (£10.50) from the fish and seafood section definitely delivered – surprisingly light and meaty, the Sicilian ratatouille a really nice addition which brought the dish to life; and the burrata (£9) … if there’s one thing you’d expect to be outstanding at an aperitivo restaurant, it’s this.  I’m glad to tell you it was just as you’d expect.

The most amazing place for a date night or sophisticated evening with friends, Ritorno is absolutely the place to dine in the heart of stylish Chelsea.  If chic cocktails and classic Milanese fare floats your boat, you know where to head…

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield

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