The Florentine Restaurant is a brand new opening situated only minutes from London South Bank’s trendy Lower Marsh and Waterloo, opposite Lambeth North tube station and offers an all-day dining restaurant and bar with a refreshing and relaxed vibe.
Well that’s what it says on its website, and when I arrived at the Florentine restaurant, I simply had to concur. In fact, I started to think that they could have even jazzed up the websites description a little bit more to match the actual ambience of the venue.
Being a new venue, The Florentine restaurant is a beautiful venue, designed with space and an almost zen-like approach. You could easily stand at your table and swing a cat in each hand without disturbing the other patrons while they dine.
No more squeezing past other dinners while you go to your table, enough space to whisper sweet nothings in your guest’s ear, without wondering if everyone else can hear you. It’s colourful and eclectic with the dinning area situated to the left of the entrance and the trendy bar situated to the right.
For the budget conscious among us, you’ll be delighted when you see the prices on the menu and realise that all the dishes are inexpensive and will not break your bank. What’s even more important is when you taste the food you’ll probably realise that you would be happy to pay more than they actually charge as it’s soooo good!
The a-la-carte menu offers a range of dishes that will tickle your fancy. This is not the most extensive menu that I have seen, but it’s good enough to give every dinner a real choice of dishes to satisfy all tastes. Everything from breakfast, nibbles, main courses, salads and flat breads are there, awaiting your arrival.
For starters we dined on fried squid, smoked burrata, tuna tartare and the iberico bellota. These were all great starters and delightful colourful and beautiful displayed for my guest and I to share and perfect to start the evening on our journey of tasting sensations.
For our main courses we decided on the braised lamb shank and the grilled sea bass. The lamb shank was served with mashed potatoes and jus, while the sea bass was served with spinach, roasted vine tomatoes and Amalfi lemon. Believe me when I say, I am not even a fan of mashed potatoes but it was so creamy and delicious, I felt like I could have turned into a child and licked the plate… The lamb shank fell straight of the bone, it must have been cooked slow and low in order to taste so succulent. The sea bass was delightful too, pure and unadulterated in its appearance, rocking the taste to match.
Some of the best things about the Florentine’s food is the presentation and taste. Every dish that arrives at your table is colourful and laid out like a painting. It’s the kind of dishes that will turn even the most hardened technophobe into an Instagram photo foodie junkie. You’ll be hard pressed not to want to whip out your smartphone and start taking photos.
For desert (if you still have space) you could opt for the Tiramisu. Served in a glass, large enough to make it special, yet small enough to not allow you to develop sugar diabetes.
Service with a smile.
You can sometimes find at new venues, that some things simply don’t work. As the ship starts to sail, things start breaking and it takes a while to run at full steam while the ship runs-in. Everything at the Florentine seemed fined. The waiters and waitresses didn’t seem stressed. The chef’s also seemed cool (you can see them from the opening fronted kitchen alcove). The service was on point and came with a smile and if you had any questions, the staff where all trained to answered them.
Not to dim, not to dark. Sexy yet chilled, the Florentine is perfect for date nights or dinning with friends and family. The Florentine gives the impression of an expensive restaurant but as it says on the website, it has a refreshing and relaxed vibe.
The next day, I asked my guest to rate the restaurant from 0 – 5 in terms of food, service, ambience and price as I wanted to get her perspective too. What she said next, is what surprised me, she said…
‘Leonard, I honestly feel like I should give it 5 out of 5 for everything. I had such a lovely experience and I cannot find anything to complain about. The food was beautiful and tasty and I felt like I was in a Michelin style restaurant. I’ve already spoken to my friends and I’m taking the girls down their next week lol.’
And the truth is, I couldn’t agree more. You’ll be hard stretched to find another restaurant within a 10-mile radius that could beat the Florentine. Pound for pound, the Florentine is outstanding.
If the managers at the Florentine happen to read this review and would like to invite me back to try some of the other dishes (Tomahawks, me thinks), I would accept your invitation with alacrity.
Oh wait, I almost forgot the live music.
An acoustic performance consisting of a male guitarist and female vocalist where situated at the far end of the bar side of the restaurant. The played music acoustic versions of what seemed to be the top 10, and other classics. Just a little bit louder than background music, the band literally added an extra dynamic to our evening dining experience. I was hard pressed not to wiggle a little in my seat as I hummed along to acoustic versions of everything from Ed Sheeran to Marvin Gaye.
If you want to impress someone on a date, or you want to dine with friends and feel chilled, relaxed and cool, then the Florentine restaurant is the one for you.
p.s. The Florentine restaurant is located at the side of the Park Plaza Hotel, If you are on a date night, you might feel like getting a room after such a wonderful evening (winks).
For more information or to book a table go to www.florentinerestaurant.co.uk
The Florentine Restaurant
6 Hercules Road, London SE1 7DU
Nearest Tube Station: Lambeth North, Waterloo & Westminster
Monday – Saturday 7am – 11pm
Sunday 7am – 10pm
+44 (0)203 146 5800