Restaurant Review: Franco’s, 61 Jermyn Street in London
Residing on the prestigious streets of Jermyn Street in St James’ London is Franco’s – one of the capital’s oldest Italian restaurants. Surrounded by the lifestyle boutiques, private clubs, art galleries and hotels of the area – here is a restaurant that revels in traditionalism, maintaining the origins of its archetypal characteristics since first opening back in 1945.
Having welcomed diners through its doors for over 70 years, this autumn the fine-dining restaurant unveiled a new interior look under the leadership of Cheah Rothe, the design company behind the Bvlgari Hotel London in Knightsbridge, Claridge’s and The Connaught.
Fusing a blend of natural and sophisticated grey wood and beautiful botanically inspired wallcoverings with neutral pale walls along with décor inspired by succulent plants, rustic woods and warm, autumnal shades – this recent refurbishment provides a backdrop to match the Italian classics served in Franco’s across the dining room, entrance and reception areas.
Far from menus revolving around the modern pizza and pasta variations you will find in many other Italian establishments across the city, Franco’s is an establishment of heritage and true refinement – celebrating the best of classic Italian cuisine with an all-day menu that caters around the busy city-centric lifestyles of the surrounding area. Evolving each day from a traditional bustling English breakfast setting to a pit-stop for express lunches – as evening draws in, Franco’s re-sets the stage for relaxed, elegant dinners.
I visited Franco’s for a relaxed mid-week dinner, where the à la carte menu is fully showcased and can be enjoyed at length. Dinner resumes with how any traditional European meal should: a selection of homemade bread, warm and neatly arranged within a small basket, whilst the sommelier guided us through the wine list.
Franco’s evening à la carte is split in a compartmentalised selection of categories: first course, pasta & soup, risotto, main courses – extending to grills, vegetables & potatoes and desserts. Following a champagne aperitif and with a selection made with the sommelier, the first courses to choose from include burrata with tomato & black olive tapenade, beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan or the traditional favourite: parma ham with mozzarella. Whilst available in starter or main dish sizes are an indulgent collection of pasta dishes that feature a mix of ingredients sourced from land and sea – this ranges from black tagliolini with crab and linguine with lobster to veal and boar ragout.
Browsing its comprehensive main course menu – genteel dishes vary from pan-fried venison loin with soft polenta, red cabbage & girolle mushrooms, honey-glazed duck breast with baby carrots & button onions, to a pan-fried veal chop with truffle mashed potato & porcini mushroom which I selected. Meanwhile from the grill – seabass, tuna, and swordfish, lamb cutlets, veal chop or beef rib-eye are available to delight the most quintessential clientele.
Address: 61 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX, +44 (020) 7499 2211, francoslondon.com