Dieci is well on the way to becoming our favourite central London restaurant – certainly if we are in the mood for Italian food. We enjoy eating Italian cooking, and this is fine-dining Italian food; even the ‘simple’ rustic dishes like our venison and pasta ragù topped with shavings of cheese, was way above the average.
The Dieci Restaurant forms part of the Ten Manchester Street hotel, originally an Edwardian building in fashionable Marylebone, a few minutes’ walk from Baker St Tube station and eight minutes or so from Oxford Street and Bond Street tube.
Dieci, leads off from the Reception area, a comparatively small, rather elegant and very comfortable dining room, with plush plump cushions and cream upholstered chairs and banquettes. Service is impeccable – that subtle combination of perfectly timed friendliness and efficiency.
Following on from our ragù came meltingly tender veal served with crisp puffs and cheesy roast new potatoes. And for dessert the most sublime panna cotta that I have ever eaten – topped with a whisper of black truffle and heavily drizzled with rich Peruvian dark chocolate. Dieci prides itself on its fine wines, but unfortunately fine wines often come at a price. However, the house wine is good and can be ordered by the glass.
Executive chef Cristian Gaimarri happened to wander through the restaurant and as by now we were the only lunch time diners left, he came and stopped for a chat. He comes from Cremona and studied catering at the renowned Istituto Alberghiero Salsomaggiore in Parma. He moved to London some 10 years ago and joined Dieci in January 2013. Where possible he has ingredients sent from his native Italy so he can produce the classic Italian dishes that he loves, albeit brought up to date with a contemporary twist.
We can vouch for his passion, enthusiasm and flair for cooking – our lunch was truly superb.
Dieci Restaurant offers a lunch set lunch menu for £18.50 for two courses, and £21.50 for three courses. It also offers special seasonal menus – eg, there is one for Valentine’s Day; the restaurant is also making a name for itself with its elegant afternoon tea.
Ten Manchester Street: Ten Manchester Street is a four-star boutique hotel in a sought after Marylebone location. It has 45 bedrooms – Superior, Deluxe, Courtyard, Junior Suite, Grand Suite and Family Suite; all comfortably and stylishly well-appointed. The hotel is very proud of its Courtyard rooms – each with its own secluded little courtyard, great to relax in after a day’s sightseeing.
The hotel is also very proud of its Cigar Room offering a cigar shop with hand-rolled Havanas, amongst others, and indoor tasting room with an all-weather cigar terrace and walk-in humidor.