Tucked away down Crown Passage, a narrow hickledy pickledy ally running off Pall Mall parallel to St James’s Street, among the pubs, Davy’s Wine Bar, tailor and sandwich shops, is an Italian restaurant named Il Vicolo. Family run for some 20 years now, and listed in the Michelin Guide many times, it’s an unsung and little known jewel in the crown of London’s Italian restaurants.
Whenever you pass it is almost always half empty, but don’t take this as a sign of poor quality. In fact the family love that it’s quiet as it allows them to do what they do best: serve authentic Italian in that warm attentive manner that the best Italian trattorias in Italy are known for. It fits with the cheery brusque yet warm nature they have.
The food is simply stunning. I haven’t had more authentic pasta anywhere in London. If you pop down to the basement you might even see trays of the remnants of the pasta made fresh by the team that day. The pasta, their specialty, is served perfectly al dente in the true Italian manner, rather than the slightly more well done version of al dente one tends to get even in the best of Italian restaurants in town. The sauces are light and fresh. The lobster pasta, a special rather than on the main menu, was the finest I have had and laden with perfectly cooked lobster. The menu, of course, has many of the favourite starters you’d expect and a neatly curated selection of grilled meat and fish.
London Lamppost Score – 4/5
Perfect for – Dinner
3/4 Crown Passage
London SW1Y 6PP
020 7839 3960