A contemporary Italian restaurant located on the ground floor of the Bulgari hotel in Knightsbridge, on the site formerly occupied by Alain Ducasse’s Rivea London.
New York City’s LDV Hospitality group, which was founded in 2008 by restaurateur John Medow following the successful launch of Scarpetta in the city’s then emerging Meatpacking District. The restaurant became something of an institution in New York – receiving a coveted three-star review from the New York Times and a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in America – and has since grown to become LDV’s signature restaurant brand with several Scarpettas now operating across the US. As it has grown the group has also developed a number of other brands including American Cut Steakhouse, Dolce Italian and The Regent Cocktail Club, which all operate multiple sites across the US.
Though the menu isn’t as extensive as you would find in the New York Scarpetta, Sette does carry many of the same dishes as its US sibling. The prices are premium - with most main dishes teetering around the £30 mark – and the food is more refined than rustic. As such, antipasti options feature no traditional Italian charcuterie, but do include a creamy polenta with fricassée of truffled mushroom; and braised octopus with artichokes, marble potato, celery and a charred spring onion vinaigrette. Scarpetta’s signature spaghetti with tomatoes and basil is present, with all pastas made fresh in the kitchen every day. There’s also an indulgent duck and foie gras ravioli served with a marsala reduction; and black tagliolini with lobster and tomato, topped with spiced basil bread crumbs. Main dishes are spilt between pesce (fish) and carne (meat), and feature halibut with white asparagus purée, charred asparagus, baby leek and an almond vinaigrette; king diver scallops with pea purée, purple potato and chanterelle mushroom; and veal tenderloin cooked medium rare with gnocchi alla romana, root vegetables and glazed sweetbread. Desserts include the visually striking black cherry tartufata with sweet corn cream, macerated raspberries, crispy milk and yogurt sorbet.
Warm lighting and a gentle colour scheme of light and dark browns instil Sette with an air of discretion and elegance that complements the cooking. At the back sits a walk-in wine cellar with more than 100 bins, while a large circular bar with marble top stands at the forefront. It’s a big and showy centrepiece in an understated restaurant, with an extensive collection of spirits housed in a glass case hanging from the ceiling.
And another thing:
Accentuating its New York origins, LDV has also opened a late-night bar below called Nolita Social. With live jazz sessions and plenty of space to lounge around, it captures the lively energy of the Big Apple’s buzzy nightlife while also being an ideal place to relax following a meal at the restaurant above.