Ristorante La Capannina

020 7437 2473 / 020 7734 9630
24 Romilly Street, London W1V 5TG
Leicester Square (PICADILLY, NORTHERN)

The menu says ‘Linda and Gianni welcome you…’ and this is indeed a welcoming place, with bustling, efficient and friendly Italian waiters. The décor is simple but pleasant – white walls and rustic wood.

There’s a fairly standard menu of Italian classics and an extensive menu del giorno, which on the day we were there offered a good range of starters (£3.25 – £6.50) including a chicory salad with tuna, tomato and onion which was dressed to taste. Other tempting options were goat cheese with radicchio, smoked fillets of trout, gnocci alla Piemontese (in a tomato sauce) and fresh mushroom soup. There’s also a traditional range of antipasti from a trolley, but these looked less inviting.

Pasta on offer was also interesting – penne al salmone and a delicious pappardelle al Gorgonzola were both well received.

Fish and meat for main courses were again a little out of the ordinary with fresh fillets of sea bass looking particularly inviting; breast of chicken with an aubergine and tomato sauce was a nice change from the usual presentations. Main courses are a little pricy – ranging from £9.50 to £15.50 for the sea bass – and don’t include vegetables (around £3). We only tried the sauté potatoes but I must say they were worth the money – perfectly cooked and plenty of them.

Puddings are offered from a trolley and are fairly standard, from caramelised oranges to tiramisu, but there was also an excellent choice of fresh fruit (including strawberries, pineapple and peach slices in white wine, which looked delicious). There is a short but perfectly acceptable wine list (mostly Italian, not surprisingly).

So, a decent place for a decent meal – not stunning, but almost certainly reliable, and if the prices are a little higher than one might expect, the location may have something to do with it. Expect to pay about £75 for two, including a bottle of wine: service not included.