Restaurant Review: Florentine, Lambeth in London
Having recently opened on 23rd March, Florentine is a new all-day dining spot that really know its city centric audience. Flexibly adaptable whilst maintaining a smart, glamourous atmosphere, the dynamic but practical menu welcomes in diners from morning until night.
I decide to visit and sample how Florentine adapts itself as a sophisticated dinner venue. Arriving through their capacious and contemporary bar area that is complemented by large, modern seating and a sleek, long fire place feature, we arrive at the restaurant towards the rear. Seated on a large round table in the centre of the room, Florentine is not just beautifully finished but hosts an overall aura that has been carefully executed. This includes the subtly of DJ set playing lively funk tunes and show kitchen running down one side of the room.
Championing fresh, seasonal ingredients with an overall international appeal, the menu is sectioned up into breakfast (until 11.30am), all day eggs, nibbles, starters, salads, main courses, sharing plates as well as their signature selection of flat breads. Our European waiter takes the lead recommending the showcase starters whilst we nibble on green olives and deliciously warm, homemade chunks of bread with glasses of prosecco.
Displaying a variation of textures and flavours, we share a carousel of dishes, each with their own personality and with a predominance of European influences. These include smoked burrata within sweet heritage tomatoes and basil cress, a not to miss board of Iberico bellota, a fresh tuna tartare served on a bed of pureed avocado, chilli and lime and lamb meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. An interlude with as much flavour and dynamism, we select from their list of flat breads. Freshly cooked, these flatbreads are topped with similar ingredients to that of the starters; mirroring the flavours topped on their crispy finished breads. We tear and share the wild mushroom, ricotta & truffle.
From a globally inspired selection of main courses, available from midday until 11.30pm, I order the veal Milanese served simply without a tomato sauce but instead with more of their heritage tomatoes and my guest the braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes. Neither of these main dishes were standout but are both undeniably very well executed. With so many dishes behind us, for dessert we nibble on the small, round Venetian doughnuts filled with marsala cream – a recommendation as a small, sweet finish.
A creative alternative to the full English, the egg menu leads the way for all day breakfast / brunch, and can be dished up however fancied. In addition to the popular Florentine, benedict and full English staples, diners can also select from the lighter egg white omelette with spinach and goats cheese, avocado or smoked mackerel with poached eggs or any style on sourdough.
Steps from Lambeth North tube station and although conveniently located, Florentine may not directly pass many by, but is well worth the visit. A real people pleaser featuring carefully executed dishes complete with international inspiration, Florentine cleverly doesn’t pigeonhole itself meaning there’s always a reason to visit, whatever your schedule may be.
Address: Florentine: 6 Hercules Rd, Lambeth, SE1 7DU, florentinerestaurant.co.uk