Restaurant in Notting Hill
Chucs Restaurant in Notting Hill is the sister concept to the 1950s swimwear and men’s fashion label of the same name, founded by Charles Finch. There are four locations in London serving up classic Italian cuisine. Chucs says each location offers an exquisite setting to dine. The Westbourne Grove spot sure radiated a classy, sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The interior was filled with sleek red tables with metallic trim, stone fabrics and leather booths. There were photographs (we believe of Italy) on the walls, and table lamps on every table. The staff were attentive, fab with recommendations, and patient when we still needed time to decide.
We were tempted by the word cocktail when the menus were put down (of which there were a handful to choose from) but we couldn’t turn down a glass of wine at a traditional Italian establishment. The waiter recommended a Pinot (£8) which was beautifully crisp, not overly dry. It went well with everything we ordered.
There are eight starters on the current menu. They all looked delicious, from the Frito Misto & Zucchini to the Burrata with Rocket & Cherry Tomatoes (both £13). We stuck with the bread basket of fresh white, granary & crisp bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as well as the olives, walnuts, cheese and honey to save space (£2 per cover added to the bill). This is definitely the way to start an Italian feast – even if you’re having starters too! We loved the walnut board, and the granary bread had a delicious flavour.
With six homemade pasta dishes, six Chucs classics and six Secondi choices, this is where the decisions became harder. There were some fantastic sounding options including the Saffron Risotto with Goats Cheese (£19), Fresh Spaghetti with Truffle (£28), Pizza Bianca with Smoked Salmon & Rocket (£19.50) and Harrisa Lamb with Grilled Courgette (£26). They even offered gluten free versions and there were a number of vegetarian options.
We tried the Grilled Fillet Of Seabass with Sicilian Caponata (£21). The Seabass was tender and flaky, with a fantastic crispy skin and delicate flavour. The caponata was soft, mild in flavour as not to overpower the Seabass, but tasty in its own right.We also opted for the Chicken Milanese (£21), an Italian classic. The chicken was thin, with a light breadcrumb and Parmesan coating. Finished with a little squeeze of zesty lemon, it was super tasty.
The Hand Cut Chips and Grilled Courgette (both £7), finished our mains. The chips were chunky, reminding us of chip shop style, yet not greasy. The Grilled Courgette was served in thick ribbons, in a little pile, lightly grilled with an almost smokier flavour. Both were great choices for the Seabass and chicken Milanese.
There are just four desserts, including dark chocolate ice cream, affogato, tiramisu and creme brûlée. There was just one way to finish such a fantastic meal for us…with an Affogato (£6). The espresso was rich and smooth, and the ice cream super creamy, with a potent vanilla flavour. A great way to finish a lovely evening.
Chucs Restaurant in Notting Hill is a beautiful, relaxed yet sophisticated spot for Italian dining. The food was fantastic (and there really is something for everyone), the wine was the perfect accompaniment, and the service was just what you want from a place like this.
East London Girl: Chucs Restaurant
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