Mental health continues to be a salient issue across the modern workplace, and the hospitality sector is no different. With long hours, high-pressure working environments and a need to be constantly ‘on’, working in a hotel, café, bar or restaurant can challenge the mental wellbeing of even the happiest of workers. A snapshot of the
21 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BG
+44 207 287 4029
Nestled in the pedestrianised Heddon Street, just seconds from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street, Piccolino is a homage to everything Italians hold dear – good food, good wine and good company. With three distinct dining spaces – including an expansive streetside terrace – it has everything you could need from an Italian feast.
A bit of background
Piccolino Heddon Street is one of 21 Piccolino restaurants peppered throughout the UK, all of which sit under the Individual Restaurants banner. While different in design and offering, each venue is united by an appreciation for the simplicity of Italian ingredients, offering seasonal menus that span from salumi boards and antipasti to pasta, pizza and secondi. With all the usual suspects appearing throughout – bruschetta, burrata or bistecca, anyone? – a visit will transport you to the cobblestones of the boot-shaped country with just one bite.
Indecisive eaters be warned: you’re going to need to do some research. Piccolino’s menu spans seven pages – and that doesn’t include dessert. We’re there for a lazy lunch, so opt for both starters and mains. While the antipasti plate, stacked high with the likes of fennel salami, parma ham, bresaola, buffalo mozzarella, Sardinian pecorino and truffle honey, is incredibly tempting, we choose two of the antipasti options – grilled asparagus with soft-poached egg and herb breadcrumbs and beef carpaccio with Venetian dressing, rocket and Grana Padano shavings.
The asparagus was fresh, perfectly al dente and enhanced by the runny egg and texture of the breadcrumbs. The carpaccio was texturally opposite but just as balanced, with exactly the right amount of rocket to cut through the richness of the beef and Grana Padano.
From there, it was onto the mains. The ravioli granchio showcased the distinction of ingredients beautifully, with hand-made parcels coated in a simple yet sophisticated chilli, lemon and shellfish butter. The classic Sicilian flavours of the tuna were executed beautifully and when paired with a couple of sides, made for a healthy yet hedonistic option.
The simplicity of the menu isn’t mirrored by the restaurant’s design – instead, it’s an opulent dedication to the palazzos of the Italian elite. The large terrace features both booths and tables but is generally shaded, meaning you can graze on your antipasti without worrying about the cheese melting in front of your eyes. Upon entering, it’s impossible to miss the gilded bar running along the back of the space, where bartenders in bow ties mix up negronis and Aperol spritzes. Diners that sit to the right of the space are given a front-row look at the culinary magic happening in the open kitchen, where the well-oiled team of chefs turn out dishes with precision and care.
Downstairs sits the multi-use cicchetti bar, which can also be hired out for events or dinners, sitting up to 100 guests. Every Friday and Saturday night, sharing plates and Venetian tapas are consumed while listening to the tunes of a resident DJ, offering the perfect way to welcome the weekend.
With a central location, expansive menu, diverse dining areas and dedicated event managers, Piccolino has everything your principal needs for an large Italian culinary adventure. Whether it’s a team lunch, after-work drinks or 100-strong celebration, it has something for every occasion.