The Full Evaluation – London x London

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The Full Evaluation – London x London

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Mayfair’s newest Italian restaurant, Sparrow, takes its cues from both America and Italy. Read on for the full review.

A swanky new Italian restaurant called Sparrow is coming to London via LA. For extravagant £215 Wagyu steaks and starters costing nearly £150, it’s already turning heads with fans of London’s food scene.

But save yourself the chatter. Among the soaring prices are dishes of modern Italian cuisine that deserve serious attention.

The brand’s chef, AJ McCloud, is making a name for himself as an advocate of bold flavors and excellent wines, and their cocktail menu is said to be equally exciting.

We went down to check it out.

Sparrow – The Complete Review

The food

You will see how the menu is designed in traditional Italian style – divided into meat and pasta dishes, salad and appetizers, a crudo course for a good portion.

You don’t have to order from each section. We insisted on not letting this Wagyu get us down and kept our level head with only three courses.

It would be tempting to say the star of the show is the crudo of ahi tuna tartare, but that wouldn’t be fair to the grilled octopus. The former, topped with a truffle ponzu poured in by the waitress in a subtle bit of theatrics, was quite sublime.

It’s just that its rival, the aforementioned octopus, was at its chunkiest – still so tender we actually quizzed each other on how they could have managed it. In fact, suspicions went so far into the occult that they’d enlisted Jiro Dreams of Sushi’s intern to massage the thing to death.

The food walks a quirky line between traditional, as in the case of our Milanese chicken, and modern, such as our marrow-of-the-bone pasta-course dish, which came out as a tortellini stuffed with braised beef cheek.

The only real disappointment with Sparrow was the sides that came with our main course. A polenta that didn’t have much and baked spaghetti squash that was also a bit lackluster.

However, all of this was made up for by a beautifully assembled tiramisu.

The drinks

sparrow

Our eyes ran straight to an amaretto sour. Full-bodied and sweetened to perfection, the sour was so good we almost refrained from trying any of the other cocktails and lovingly stuck with it, but journalistic integrity dictated we try something else…It’s a tough life.

The next choice was a Sardinia, which we’ll admit didn’t stray too far from our original drink, but contained more of a lemony tartness and bit of cocktail theater you’ve come to expect on social media from anyone who’s been having this winter still a few pounds in your pocket. A bubble of smoked bergamot that rests gently on the cocktail for a second before bursting beautifully under its own pressure.

the look

sparrow

The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the dining room at Sparrow is the U-shaped bar that dominates the center of the room.

That’s partly because the sleek black marble and well-dressed staff can catch your eye, and also because the dining areas that line the room’s walls are so softly lit you can barely see the table next to you will notice.

The seating is also plush — a long bench of plush emerald velvet and a row of armchairs that you sink into when you sit down and make no noise on the, yes, plush carpet when you pull them back for your date.

And that’s probably the person you want to come here with. The mood fits it perfectly. For all of the reasons above, this is a great spot for a bit of sophisticated romance.

There’s a DJ most nights – Sparrow is from LA, after all – and they add a bit of vibes without being overbearing.

Final Thoughts

sparrow

With £200 Wagyu steaks on the menu and convenient cocktails priced at £20, a meal at Sparrow is likely to be your big night of the week (or month). But it’s fair to say that you won’t be disappointed if you let Sparrow have this particular position.

The food and drink, with their bold flavors and little theatrical touches, create genuine wonder at the table and are equally exciting to eat. There are a few very minor missteps, but nothing expensive enough to piss you off.

Sparrow: Practical information

Address: 1-3 Avery Row London, England W1K 4AJ1

website

Price: £££

Rating 4/5

Sparrow Review: Keep reading

Sparrow, Mayfair: The Complete Review

sparrow

Sparrow is Italian at heart, and there are a few dishes that wouldn’t look out of place in a local trattoria. But there is another side to it – an American one, with some showmanship and enhanced flavors. We think this marriage is a beautiful one.