107-112 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 4DP
Created in homage to a key genius of the Italian Renaissance, Caravaggio is dedicated to gastronomic excellence, aiming to demonstrate the same dedication to quality and innovation in the field of food and drink as the great Italian masters brought to painting and sculpture. Caravaggio is one of the city's most well established fine dining restaurants, offering superb modern Italian cuisine in elegant art deco surroundings.
Formally opened by Luciano Pavarotti in 1996, Caravaggio is the most serious Italian restaurant in the City and a firm favourite with the movers and shakers of the square mile, many of whom are regular customers. Occupying the imposing premises of what was formerly a banking hall, all that remains of the original interior is the ornate high ceiling, with its splendid Art Deco light fittings.
The designer Tony Thomas has opened up the space and extended an existing gallery that now runs around the room at mezzanine level, providing a second tier of tables. A long, marble topped bar by the entrance provides a convenient holding area for what is, at lunch times, a very busy dining room and is also popular with single diners, many of whom prefer to eat at the bar. Head Chef Jonathan Lees, has designed a menu that brings together dishes from various regions of Italy and its islands.
Antipasti includes the wonderful combination of Parma ham, matured over 22 months and accompanied by mozzarella and salsify, and sensational carpaccio with basil pesto, cep mushrooms and shaved parmesan. City diners have a healthy appetite for meat dishes which include, roasted belly of pork with crushed potatoes, broccoli, celeriac and a honey and cinnamon sauce fillet of veal with mixed wild mushrooms and Madeira sauce. But without a doubt, the best and fullest flavoured fillet steak to be found in the square mile is served here with aubergine and gorgonzola cheese - exquisite indulgence for the carnivores!
However, the freshest fish is also in abundance with fresh crab, wild sea bass and black Arctic cod featuring regularly so all tastes are catered for and the regulars, of which there are many, never get bored. The wine list at Caravaggio is probably the most comprehensive collection of Italian wines in all London, with more than a hundred bins ed from all the key regions. Booking is highly advised.