Test drive Il Borro London – a Tuscan bistro Mayfair style | Test drive

EVERYTHINGThe upstairs dining room and open kitchen

What do we need to know about Il Borro?

Il Borro or to use its full name – Il Borro Tuscan Bistro London, is Mayfair’s latest luxury Italian. The restaurant already has branches in Tuscany and Dubai, but the most important thing to know is that it is named after the Il Borro property in Arezza, which is owned by the fashion family Ferragamo. The property prides itself on biodiversity and organic farming, and that’s what they hope to lure big-budget Londoners through the doors.

Where is it?

It has taken over the part of first-class restaurant property on Berkeley Street that used to be Nobu Berkeley Street. It puts it solidly in the football players’ triangle and sets it up against people like Novikov and Bocconcino on the same street.

Does it have a bar?

It does, and it’s actually a very good one, which we’ve already decided could be our new favorite drinking hole in this part of town. For the restaurant’s launch, top bar consultant Giancarlo Mancino was in the house. He has taken his famous clay pot with him to make top-class negronis, and his team has also beaten up an excellent martini, made with vin santo as well as vermouth.

Keep an eye out for bar snacks that look like olives … but are not (we let you enjoy that surprise).

EVERYTHINGThe bar at Il Borro – complete with roaring fire.

Where should we sit?

This is a two-half restuarant. Both the ground floor dining room and upstairs one have open kitchens so you can watch the chefs at work. Our preference would be upstairs, just make sure you are not sitting too close to the pass. There is also a very smart private dining room upstairs that runs across the width of the building and looks out over Berkeley Street.

EVERYTHINGWe expect this private dining room overlooking Berkeley Street will do very well (and there is another smaller PDR as well).

So what’s on the menu?

We would say that it is classic Tuscan with an international jetset tweak. So you can expect snacks, pasta and pizza, seafood and meat dishes as well as an oyster and caviar section.

EVERYTHINGPappa al pomodoro (£ 11) one of the restaurant’s signature dishes this is Tuscan bread served with a rustic dipping tomato sauce. Very, very tomato-like – this was one of the hits of the night.

EVERYTHINGFour cheese gnocchi (£ 18) – deep cheesy gnocchi.

EVERYTHINGPumpkin tortelli with Umbrian black truffles (£ 28) – hefty prices, but the sweetness of the pumpkin was a delight with the earthy truffles

EVERYTHINGPeposo dell’Impruneta (£ 38) – Tuscan braised beef in a tomato and black pepper sauce served with crispy rosemary polenta

EVERYTHINGTagliata di Wagyu (£ 69) – Grilled slice of Wagyu fillet with a arugula salad and shaved parmesan. Beautifully cooked steak, but at this price we would also have expected more attention to the arugula salad.

Room for dessert?

Only! We managed to share this between us.

EVERYTHINGTiramisu (£ 12) – you can not really go wrong with this.

And to drink?

We were at the restaurant’s soft launch night, so we did not really get to look at or try the wine list. That said, our chardonnay from Il Borro property was very drinkable. But you really should start or end your visit here with one of their excellent cocktails.

EVERYTHINGGiancarlo Mancino mixes the perfect negroni

EVERYTHINGAnd it really was an excellent negroni.

Overall thoughts

This new luxury Italian is perfect for the money-rich Mayfair audience. Considering its fashion house credentials, the look is more subdued than others in the area – here is a LOT of lovely creamy marble. Given the luxurious nature of the whole thing, the food is almost random, but it certainly does the job. We will definitely be back to the bar and the amazing negronies.

More about Il Borro

Where is it? 15 Berkeley St, Mayfair, London W1J 8DY

How to book: Order online

Find out more: Visit their website and follow them on Instagram @tuscanbistrolondon.

Hot dinners ate as guests at Il Borro. The prices are correct at the time of publication.

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