1/29/2013 11:15:00 AM

First Look: Cucina Asellina Opens on The Strand

The Story:
Specialising in "artisanal, affordable, Italian home cooking," this new restaurant in the ME hotel in Covent Garden is based on New York's Asellina with an all-day menu created by executive chef Marco Porceddu.

The Food:
This is New York-influenced Italian food with a focus on flatbreads and traditional square pizzas. Unusual pasta dishes, like the saffron strozzapreti with prawns, spinach and butternut squash, make a good alternative, as does the juicy steak served tagliata-style with caramelised onions and winter vegetables. And don't miss the wonderfully creamy tiramisu served in a tea cup.

The Decor:
There is nothing rustic about this ground-floor restaurant. Instead expect slick marble, leather banquettes, a huge wine wall and pumping music.

The Crowd:
It's too early to tell, but we predict you'll find everyone from homesick expats to city boys on their way home and off-duty theatre actors (thanks to late-night hours) eating here.

The Extras:
Finish the evening off with a nightcap at the Radio Bar on the top floor of the hotel, and take in the spectacular views across London.

ME London, 336-337 Strand, WC2R 0QU


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