Living the High Life at Harry’s Dolce Vita, Knightsbridge
February 26, 2018
I had been looking forward to visiting Harry’s Dolce Vita for a couple of months. My expectations were so high, that I felt it only right that I wear something new and have my hair done in preparation! In case you’re not aware, Harry’s Dolce Vita is the swanky little sister of the classic Mayfair members club Harry’s – which along with Sexy Fish, Daphne’s and The Ivy, are all sophisticated offerings from Caprice Holdings.
In an enviable location on Knightsbridge’s Basil Street, and just across the road from Harrods, I already had a smile on my face as the front-of-house took my coat – cloakrooms in restaurants are always indicative of a restaurant which has that exclusive air about them.
Much smaller and cosier than I’d anticipated, the fun, buzzy atmosphere hit me before I’d even been taken to my table. Sweeping past the bar area surrounded by high stools, I thought to myself that it would be the perfect place to toast a new engagement with a bottle of champers or down a few Aperol Spritz’s at the start of a night out. With a mixture of brass set against dark woods and tan leather banquette seating, coupled with the murano glass and retro photos and posters on the walls, it was easy to get swept up in the Italian glamour of it all – indeed, ‘the sweet life’.
The menu really is extensive, as is their collection of wines, spirits and cocktails, so we thought it only right to start with a good Negroni to get the tastebuds going! I was surprised to see online before I arrived that they describe their dishes as ‘unfussy’, because although there are definitely some classics on offer courtesy of Exec Chef Diego Cardoso – Vongole, Chicken Milanese, Pizzas made special dough which is proved for 72 hours… yet the presentation of these dishes is pretty exquisite, as was the flavour I soon discovered.
Arancini Balls (£5.50) arrived soon after our cocktails – it was a delight to crunch through the light crispy outer layer and experience the rice, truffle and parmesan in one heady hit. These were devoured in about 3 minutes flat!
I went for the Classic Harry’s Taglioni (£12.50) – always a bit of a risk as a starter, because if it’s too good, you clean the plate and haven’t got room for your main! It was definitely one of those cases – the combination of fresh pasta, truffle, parmesan and cream (I don’t even want to think about the calories), left me so satisfied, that I almost sent back my Veal Milanese! Lucky I didn’t, as this was just as amazing – a light crisp breadcrumb over the veal, topped with stodgy silky buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and an side jug of extra tomato sauce. I like to think I’m a bit of a tomato sauce connoisseur and this one, rich and tangy with just enough pulp left in it, was absolutely perfect.
My friend also went for one of Harry’s signatures – the Spaghetti Seafood (£19.95) with the freshest of fat juicy prawns, succulent squid, mussels and clams cooked with garlic, chilli and parsley. I didn’t try this, but I have it on good authority from the amount of ‘mmm’s…’ and the lack of conversation that this dish was a good one. We washed these dishes down with a delightful bottle of medium bodied cherry and dark berry Barbera Riva Leone from Piedmont. Perfect.
Next came that awful feeling when you’re torn between being too full to eat more, but also being desperate to try the desserts in a restaurant aptly named ‘Dolce Vita’. After about 3o seconds of persuasion, our minds were made up and the arrival of a decadent Tiramisu (£7.95) which quite frankly was dressed ‘too well to eat’; along with the Harry’s Toadstool (£8.95) which you absolutely must order just to see, we knew we’d made the right decision as soon as we laid our eyes on them! Winning first prize for culinary theatre and innovation, I loved the toadstool – completely OTT and made with white chocolate, raspberries, mascarpone mousse, iced vanilla parfait and pistachio biscotti crunch, the warm pistachio sauce drizzled across the top was quite literally the icing on the cake.
Harry’s Dolce Vita is a stunning restaurant, with a luxurious feel and food to match. Pair it with your next trip to Harrods for sure.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield