Il Pampero- London

One of the key reasons that I chose The Hari Hotel for my birthday and Thanksgiving combo celebration was the glorious photos from their Il Pampero restaurant- their IG is absolutely drool-worthy. Solo travel is great, but sometimes at the end of a day walking ten miles, literally, traversing a vast city like London in the cold and rain, all you want to do at the end of your adventure is to take a hot shower and not step out again. Il Pampero brough glamour to this cozy choice…that I made three times…in four nights.

Night one was a Wednesday so rather dead in the restaurant, but I didn’t care. Less people watching, more reading, and super attentive staff.

To start off my first night I tried their version of a spritz (just okay) and had their burratta on a salad of fennel and oranges. Wow, wow, wow! The burrata was perfection and the crisp bites of the salad below just blew it to the next level.

For my main I wanted something truffly for the season. There was the option to add black or white truffles to any dish so I let my lovely waitress do the selecting for me. She went with the more rare white truffles and weighed and freshly shaved a few on top of four perfect ravioli filled with porchetta and an ever-so-light carbonara. Four seemed few, but the flavors so rich, it was absolute perfection.

I skipped dessert as I had my birthday cake from the hotel in the room, but was still presented with some sweet fried dough and extremely dark chocolate shortbread.

Night two: Thanksgiving! The traffic in the restaurant picked up a bit and I was seated under the bright lights of the resto which felt right given my developing commitment level to her.

The staff was made aware that it was my birthday and brought me a card and a glass of champagne. So sweet. (Weird, how’d that burrata get back into the photo)?

My same lovely waitress of the night prior helped me choose between lobster pasta and something else that never had a chance. Wow, this was an incredible dish! Fresh pasta, tomatoes, chunks of lobster, a hint of lemon, and oozy burrata. All of my favorite food groups came together for an absolutely amazing dish. why it was served on an awkward leaf plate I will never know.

For dessert I decided to stick with my waitress’s winning recos for digestif and dessert. Here’s where I went slightly wrong- I don’t care about chocolate. Yet, if this was the amazing thing she recommended….I had a few bites from the beautiful presentation, but a really dense chocolately anything just does not make me happy. The digestif sure did! ‘Branca Mentha’. A minty liqueur she claimed was quite common in Italy to eat your dinner for you. I’ve looked for a bottle of this in Switzerland and so far no luck.

A night away….and then there was the final night, a busy Saturday back in an Il Pampero booth. Burrata again! Ok, if I was going to breakout from having so much soft cheese, I was going to really go for it, OK?

And then there was that delightful lobster pasta again… I will say that it was much better on night two…I’m not sure why.

After drooling over their IG for months, I was kind of sad to miss out on their tiramisu and their doughnuts, but you can only eat so many over-the-top meals. The attention-to-detail and service was absolute perfection. This will be another new London staple for me.

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