London's Best Red-Sauce Joints

Ahead of New York hotspot Carbone arriving in Mayfair...made iconic by its celebrity clientele and their spicy rigatoni and famous meatballs - check out these other fancy red-sauce joints.

The Dover

An elegant and classy ‘old school,’ New York-style Italian restaurant. Occupying the former site of the short-lived Moncks of Mayfair in Dover Street. Expect a stylish (dineer only) place of ‘unpretentious elegance' - a Seventies-inspired dining room with dim lights, curved wood, chequered floor and double tablecloths. The food leans towards the New York style of Italian with plenty of the classics supplemented by American-accented dishes - with dishes such as avocado tart, prawn cocktail, chopped salad, spaghetti and their ('positively sexual') meatballs and lobster ravioli - served alongside a wide range of Martinis and wines from both Italy and US. 


A laid-back trattoria and Venetian-inspired cocktail bar from the Big Mamma group. Features include a ruby-red terrace, a long sky lit dining room, a Venetian marble bar and an 80s-style ‘midnight blue velvet paradise’ dining area downstairs. On the food side - the menu focuses on traditional Neapolitan and Sicilian fare with an American twist and a grill section - a first for the group. Expect Italian classics like rosé veal tartare, penne alla vodka, and arrosticini lamb skewers - a speciality from Abruzzo. Signature serves include oversized bottles of Barolo which parade the dining room, strong, well-made cocktails and sparkling Italian wines.

Trattoria Brutto

A 'trattoria Toscana' from the highly influential and award-winning restauranteur behind Polpo and Spuntino. The name Brutto is Italian for ‘ugly' and the restaurant's philosophy is based on the Italian ‘brutto ma buono', which means ‘ugly but good'. A convivial and boisterous trattoria serving Tuscan classics with a bar, low lighting and lively music. Dine from a "hearty, rustic Tuscan menu" with dishes such as Florentine steaks, stew ribollita, pappardelle with wild boar and veal chops and their perfectly pitched penne alla vodka dish. Brutto takes over from the space previously occupied by Hix Oyster and Chop House with the kitchens headed up by Oliver Diver - formerly of Wild Honey, Chiltern Firehouse and Allegra. Think gingham tablecloths, a great signature negroni and a menu of keenly priced Tuscan favourites. 


A London outpost of the Italianate-styled, restaurant and nightclub on the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The BoTree hotel's signature restaurant serves up coastal Italian fare and maximalist dishes. Dine on all-time favorites like the classic chicken parmigiano and the famous hefty saucy meatball - made of fresh Imperial Wagyu beef and Italian sausage smothered in marinara sauce and topped with whipped ricotta and also their take on Penne Alla Vodka with prosciutto and a creamy spicy tomato sauce. The restaurant’s warm interior design has been overseen by Tao Group Hospitality’s in-house team - think lush olive tree, foliage and lattice brick walls - creating a distinctly Mediterranean garden vibe. 


Sette is another US import and the latest restaurant from the Scarpetta family - which has outposts across the US, from The Hamptons to Miami. Sette brings authentic Italian food from the heart of Manhattan with its own inimitable flair. The understated-yet-elegant design has been overseen by Thomas Juul-Hanson, who is also credited with designing the flagship Scarpetta NYC location in the NoMad neighbourhood in Manhattan. Dine on signature pastas made in-house daily - including the renowned (vodka free) Scarpetta classic - spaghetti with tomato and basil. Other popular dishes include halibut and veal tenderloin with gnocchi alla romana and glazed sweetbreads. 

Ideal For

Fancy red-sauce joints.