REVIEW: Luce E Limoni, Russell Square
WHAT? For owner Fabrizio Zafarana, neighbourhood restaurant Luce E Limoni is a return to his home in Sicily, where he can explore traditional dishes from his upbringing in new and exciting ways. The aim is to create beautiful, no-fuss dishes that let simple, flavoursome ingredients shine through.
WHERE? A short walk from the Charles Dickens museum, it’s not far from Russell Square and Farringdon stations, sandwiched between Clerkenwell and Fitzrovia.
For starters, veggies can try roast aubergine with melting pecorino cheese, tomato and mint leaves, or creamy mozzarella cheese with Sicilian caponata. Pescatarians are spoiled for choice with seared King scallops with cream of cauliflower and anchovies, or prawns carpaccio marinated with gin and fennel pollen.
WHY GO? Stand-out meat dishes are cooked to total perfection, carnivores tempted by the likes of grilled T-bone veal served with roast potatoes and spinach or roast rump of lamb with cinnamon, dates and caramelised shallots, smothered in a red wine sauce. There are hearty pasta and risotto dishes aplenty, a crab, courgette and shellfish sauce filling large pasta shells, and delicate cuttlefish ink linguine drawing everyone’s attention with red mullet ragout and olives.
We agonised over choosing Sicilian sausage and potato tortelloni with tomato, basil and spicy sprouting broccoli or half lobster spaghetti with toasted sesame seeds, brandy and cherry tomatoes, but finally went for the lighter option of grilled tuna steak with stewed red pepper and onions – an excellent dish.
ANYTHING ELSE? Desserts are not to be missed, helpfully recommended by Fabrizio himself. We adored the idea of deep-fried sweet ravioli with ricotta and lemon curd (marsala flavours adding an interesting edge) but eventually opted for Sicilian cannoli with ricotta cheese – the restaurant’s signature dish. Oh, and don’t forego the bread and olives before staters – once again, we found that the Italians do it best.
DETAILS: Luceelimoni.com / 91-93 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8TX / 02072423382