15th February 2012
Cecconi’s in the heart of Mayfair, is all about old school glamour, the decor swathed in jade green, the place smells of money.
I’ve known it for years, as a modern Italian for ‘City Slickers’ and it seems the Men who make suits too, as I spotted Ozwald Boateng at the bar. I expected pure class on the delivery and I was slightly dejected, by what I received…
I had no reservation, but at 10.30am with only a few tables occupied, I thought I’d be safe for a walk-in, table for two. On arrival, Front of House informed me that I’d need to free my table in a hour’s time, to allow them to prepare for the Lunch service. This request was overturned by our kinder Waiter, who informed us that we could retain the table until midday and that he’d work around us. This was more accomodating to hear, imagine how many may have just walked out at the door?
When we had service it was slick, professional and courteous. However, there were long periods of nothing. In fact, my dining companion had to walk to the bar to both place our order and also request the bill. We were dining during a lull period, however there were plenty of Waiting staff on-site, busily prepping and attending their changeover of service briefing. I was reassured by my dining companion, that this was not at all usual, and it was usually the height of sophistication.
Onto the food…
We’d already had a Latte and Espresso to wet the appetite, so I ordered a duck egg, hash brown & black truffle (£11), whilst my guest had the classic, Eggs Benedict (£10). A tad extravagent on my part, but excused as it was my birthday! The eggs were Burford brown, with a delicious, rich, orange yolk. When served to table, the fried egg was nestled on top of the hash brown, but there was no truffle to be seen. I was reassured it was on it’s way, the Maitre d’ appeared to shave the truffle onto my egg, a nice bit of ‘theatre’.
This was accompanied by brown toast, but to my disdain, no butter arrived and we really couldn’t be asked, to get up to ask for that too. The complimentary juice (options of orange or grapefruit) didn’t appear, until we requested them either. When I requested an alternative (as I was allergic), I wasn’t offered another juice variety. So I myself asked for water, as we hadn’t even had our water glasses filled yet. Of course, I was given the option for chargeable ‘still or sparkling’ water, so I declined and opted for ‘tap’.
Alas, the cumulative mishaps, left me a little weary. Ordinarily I’d have complained, but as it was my birthday, I didn’t fancy the fuss. Had I also not had the table-turning ‘threat’ at the outset, I may have been more inclined to splash out on Champagne to celebrate or further courses, but when one has such treatment, I’m not in favour of increasing my spend per head, for the restaurant’s benefit.
This is supposedly a class-act, when paying Mayfair prices, I do hope they don’t treat others in this manner? Perhaps, I’m being pedantic, I am what I am. With such a reputation, the restaurant should stand up and deliver, especially under their Soho House helm.Cecconi’s: 5A Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, W1S 3EP Tel: +44 (0)20 7434 1500 Website: http://www.cecconis.co.uk/