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food & drink

review

That’s a Mora A young restaurateur is bringing Mediterranean flavours to Marylebone. Melissa Emerson takes a seat in Mora’s shabby-chic dining room to see for herself

T

he 2016 Harden’s London Restaurants Guide listed a record number of new openings last year – 179 to be precise – exceeding 2015’s haul by 31. Mora in Marylebone is one of these newcomers, and the man responsible – 20-something Andrea Reitano, who is already a partner in Mayfair’s fish restaurant Assunta Madre – is tipped as a restaurateur to watch. We enter via the curtained foyer of what used to be a pub on the corner of George Street and Gloucester Place and are warmly welcomed into the transformed dining room, which accommodates just 60 covers. It’s a particularly

The moodily lit room has the appearance of a manor house that has fallen on hard times

quiet Tuesday evening when my guest and I visit (we are the only two diners for most of the evening), but our waiter assures us it’s usually fully booked on the weekends. Once seated on a raised corner table with a leather banquette (and feeling a little selfconscious) we survey our surroundings. The moodily lit room, imagined by Rosendale Design, has the appearance of a manor house that has fallen on hard times. There’s parquet flooring, blown plaster walls revealing patches of decorative gold and the odd antique, all of which lends the place a charming shabby-chic feel. The cuisine is far more modern, with a Mediterranean fusion menu split into small plates, starters, mains and sides. Copious amounts of bread and olive oil aside, my guest begins with a Sicilian red prawn carpaccio with avocado crème and bottarga mayonnaise. Presentation here is picture-perfect, although my burrata d’Andria (from Puglia) with seasoned tomatoes is altogether simpler. Then again, such a decadent cheese speaks for itself. I also keep things simple for my main, opting for the tagliolini pasta, which is handmade in the restaurant and served with slices of pungent black truffle and salted butter. It is the perfect winter comfort food. Despite the temptations of hearty dishes such as honey and chilli-glazed duck breast or T-bone steak, my guest also succumbs to carb cravings with a slightly more elaborate dish of linguine with lobster, courgette flowers and leeks. We swap red wine for cocktails that come garnished with colourful, precisely cut cherries and fresh cucumber, served in pretty crystalware. We sip these as we power through a lasagne-dish sized portion of tiramisu and a trio of crispy cannoli, noting that Mora’s recipe for success is not far off the mark – it’s just a shame others don’t yet appreciate its discreet charms. 89 George Street, W1U, morarestaurant.com

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Profile for Runwild Media Group

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

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