It may have taken a while to get to my mouth, but I’ve now found the most delicious lasagna on the planet. Tucked away at the stylish Franklin Hotel among Egerton Crescent’s residential flats, Michelin-star chef Alfredo Russo’s kitchen might be one of London’s best-kept secrets when it comes to Italian fine dining.
The Franklin, spearheaded by Chef Alfredo Russo famous for his Dolce Stil Novo restaurant in Turin having been Michelin-starred for over 20 years, opened last year.
The Italian-inspired restaurant is located in a stylish garden-facing dining area at The Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. Not yet fully opened for the public, lucky hotel guests can enjoy his inventive approach to cooking, he has after all being named by L’Espresso guide as Italy’s Best Young Chef earlier in his career.
The first impression is the interior decor which is the work of world-famous Anouska Hempel. The lavish sofas and chairs draped with dark blue velvet, the marble floors and tables together with the Venetian mirrors create a continental ‘palace – feel’. The green plants on each table add just the right amount of colour.
The atmosphere is private and comfortable with only 30 seats allowing quiet conversations among guests. Patrons can enjoy a seamless dinner without the disturbance of the hustle and bustle of a loud and busy crowd.
The service is impeccable and we are greeted by Sous Chef Vinzenco Sorvillo who talks us through the Italian menu which is a representation of both the Northern and Southern regions of Italy. Every detail has been thought. We get a taste of Russo’s own olive oil which is served together with homemade bread and the Michelin-star chef’s impressive wine list including his own crisp Sauvignon and a Merlot wine.
The presentation of all the dishes resembles pieces of art more than a plate full of food. The popular sea bass in particular which could easily have been the work of an artist.
The lamb which is from Cumbria is incredibly tender and juicy when it arrives in perfect temperature. The kale lasagne with its creamy texture and fresh greens is something out of this world.
The cooking processes of the cherry tomatoes for the best-selling ‘Tortino di Melanzane’ involves oven baking them in 58 degrees overnight together with icing sugar and the result is incredibly flavoursome.
All dishes honour the classic Italian cuisine with a twist with Sous Chef Vinzenco describing the menu as ‘flavours that are easy to understand’.
Though I would love to be selfish and keep The Franklin Restaurant all to myself, the incredible food coupled with the warm and friendly service will soon, with no doubt, be one of London’s hottest Italian reservations.
For restaurant reservation requests and hotel bookings:
The Franklin Hotel
24 Egerton Gardens
+44 (0)20 7584 5533