Amaranto Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is an Italian restaurant that introduces a new approach to hotel dining. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner menus are available throughout the day in any area of Amaranto restaurant, lounge or bar. The restaurant offers modern Italian-inspired cuisine with an innovative combination of classical and traditional dishes reflective of the changing seasons and bringing Italian flavours, British style and tastes from around the world to a very seductive and fashionable table. Presenting a refined but eclectic selection of a la carte and daily changing menus are offered for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, the choice and service is outstanding. On this occasion we were at Amaranto at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane to enjoy a stay fit for a President and to celebrate the birthday of Editor Lady Charlotte.
Enjoying ones birthday here can only be described as magical, where all the staff feel like an extension of your family: knowing your likes, dislikes, allergies and most importantly (as they say in Cheers); your name. The evening started with what else but cocktails in the bar; I went for Lorenzo Maestripieri’s recommendation from the rather extensive cocktail menu of the Amaranto Strawberry Cup – Champagne, fresh strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier and added Cognac and spices, a very refreshing start to what was to come. The birthday girl went for her favourite cocktail at Amaranto: Negroni Sbagliato – Campari, Martini Rosso and Prosecco. The cocktail menu has lots of choice and the bar staff are brilliant at suggestions and new concoctions! After sipping our cocktails we made our way through the seductive interior of the bar to the restaurant, we were seated on the most wonder table over looking the Amaranto Terrace and the lights of Park Lane.
After salivating over the menu I decided to start with Carpaccio di Fassona, Insalatina di Funghi Crudi e Pecorino Toscano, the Carpaccio was created with thinly sliced beef from Piedmont one of the 20 regions of Italy and the capital is Turin. The beef is accompanied by raw mushrooms and Tuscan sheep’s milk cheese. The dish was light, as expected for an Italian classic starter but also flavoursome, the wine chosen by Rafael Pell, the Sommelier, K+K Kirnbauer Zwickl Chardonnay from Austria vintage 2009 was light and fresh, a perfect accompanying wine to my starter. Charlotte went for the Scottish Shellfish prepared three ways – Scallops wrapped in Cured Pork on fresh pea puree, Langoustine Tartar seasoned with yoghurt and lime and sliced raw lobster with smoked tomato. The scallops were light and delicate, the puree was minty and offset the meaty taste of the cured pork which was an added bonus to the taste and flavours. The freshness of the langoustine tartar could be tasted with every bite and was not overpowered by the acidity of the lime, the lobster pretty in design looked like delicate rose petals.
The dish was well presented on a long plate, with the colours of the fish exquisitely shown, very exotic and exciting flavours. For the pasta e risotto course I went for the Gnocchi di Patate, Finferli, Vongole Veraci e Dragoncello, homemade potato gnocchi, baby Girolle mushrooms and clams from Venice with tarragon. The dish was beautifully presented and perfectly cooked, it was not a heavy dish and the portion size was perfect for a pasta course. The wine chosen by Rafael for my starter still worked well with the flavours of the gnocchi. Charlotte continued her fish theme and went for the Risotto Scampi, Piselli, Menta e Prosecco which consisted of langoustine from Scotland with fresh peas, mint and prosecco. The rice was soft but not over cooked and the pea and mint made for a light dish, very fresh and a perfect choice for a summery evening on the Amaranto terrace.
For the main dish I went for Piedmontese Rabbit, Scottish Girolle mushrooms, pistachio, dried apricots and tomatoes, once again presented in three different ways, the meat was cooked to perfection, plump and pink and truly delicious to eat. Rafael chose Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2011 from New Zealand to accompany the rabbit, a fabulous wine with a refreshing medley of fresh lychee, grapefruit and honeydew melon on the nose, laced with flinty minerality on the palate and finished with an infusion of mandarin and lime zest. Charlotte went for the grilled Cabernet marinated Angus beef fillet on a warm seasonal vegetable salad with beets and pickled blueberries. The beef was cooked to perfection, seared but rare on the inside, a robust dish with the marinating of the meat in Cabernet wine but the favours work in perfect harmony. The beets and blueberries added a sweet contrast to the flavours of the meaty beef and vegetable salad. Rafael, knowing how Charlotte loves her red wine, chose the Podere Sapaio Volpolo from Italy vintage 2007 to match the dish. A young wine where the taste is made from primary fruits with very soft tannins and a lot of vanilla hints, as a medium to full bodied wine and perfect for a meaty beef dish.
Just when we were ready to retire to our luxurious Presidential Suite we were surprised by the wonderful team at Amaranto with a birthday treat for the birthday girl, Lady Charlotte. Approching us on a platter fit for a President was a selection of chocolate, fruit and nuts beautifully presented with a birthday message and sparklers! Accompanying the array was a rendition from the staff of “Happy Birthday”, Charlotte turned a vivid shade of rouge as the other guests of the restaurant joined in, this gesture was very much appreciated and more importantly: very tasty! This was my first trip to Amaranto but will not be my last. Everything about the dinner was wonderful, the food, wine, service and decor. Any person, Lady or President would be very pleased to dine in such a setting, for even though the food served up by Amaranto is sublime it is the staff that really make this a restaurant to di(n)e for!
Amaranto Restaurant, Lounge and Bar
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
London, W1J 7DR