I have a friend of 18 years who's lived almost all of her life in the heart of Notting Hill, and through her, I've got to know many a West London gem. Just when you think you've tried them all, there's always another one to wow you just around the corner... and this is exactly what Assaggi was.
Back in December, she (let's call her Mouse, as that is her nickname from when she was younger!) took me out for an incredible meal out at this hidden beauty that I had no idea about. The restaurant itself is run by truly Italian staff (I realise that one can't "truly" be Italian, but you get my gist), and the room itself looks like a cosy, large room in a house. The smells coming out of the kitchen had my stomach rumbling right away, and we immediately got to choosing our dishes.
We both went for the burrata salad to start with, which was a delight. So simple yet so stunning, and the aubergine was a beautiful touch. We also munched away on their homemade focaccia and the cracker-like bread, which the chef told us was an old family recipe. I always try to not get full on bread when they're served, but I couldn't help myself!
For our main courses, Mouse chose the Genovese with classic pesto, and I picked the seafood dish. I did the classic mistake of not taking a photo of the menu (which changes all the time and they don't have one on their website), so I can't tell you exactly what it was, but it was a grain and seafood dish that I absolutely loved. Everything was fresh, homemade and perfectly seasoned, and plated artfully but not at all pretentious.
I should mention that we enjoyed a gorgeous red wine with our meal - again, I was far too busy chatting and eating to note what we had. Blogger fail.
Of course, in a fantastic Italian establishment such as this, it's really a crime not to have dessert. So M went for the flourless chocolate cake and I chose the panna cotta, both of which were sublime - no surprises there. It was buzzing and packed with people when we arrived (we had a late dinner around 9pm), but by the time we were enjoying dessert, things were winding down and we had a relaxing end to the meal and had a chat with the chef, which was lovely.
I'm not one to celebrate Valentine's Day, but if you're that way inclined or want to treat someone for a special occasion, I couldn't recommend Assaggi more. It's intimate, friendly, delicious and classy. There's no way you wouldn't impress a date or friend with this one.
Thank you so much Mouse, for an amazing dinner and even better company!
39 Chepstow Place
020 7792 5501