Marylebone has this unique quality of being just a stone’s throw away from buzzy Bond Street whilst still having that intimate neighbourhood feel. This is a combination that the newly-opened The Italian Greyhound has down to an art. Sitting on the site of the former Bernardi’s, The Italian Greyhound is the newest venture by restaurateur brothers Gabriel and Marcello Bernardi along with partner Barry Hirst.
As Marcello Bernardi explained: “We previously built a loyal local following in Marylebone and wanted to make sure that we evolved our positioning to keep our locals keen but also attract those from further afield. We want The Italian Greyhound to be a real crowd-pleaser, a relaxed neighbourhood gem, where people can pop in for a drink or a pasta whenever they please.”
I made my way to the restaurant on a sunny London evening. I saw the striped awnings as I turned the corner onto Seymour Street and immediately understood the understated, chic, and welcoming vibe that the team was going for. We were given a corner table by the window, and it was a luxury in itself to be in central London, with a cool breeze flowing in, a watermelon and basil Collins in-hand.
The venue is divided into a bar, dining room, and terrace and is modelled after the bacaros or neighbourhood bars found throughout Italy. Head chef Yohei Furuhashi, whose former stints include Dinings SW3, Petersham Nurseries, and the River Café, is at the helm of the kitchen where he dishes out a seasonal, produce-focussed small plates menu.
We started off with some panelle, traditional chickpea snacks from Sicily, which are savoury and perfect with an aperitif or beer. A vegetarian option from the pizzette section stood out to us – a light and healthy flatbread with courgettes, pine nuts, marjoram, and a soft-ripened cheese called robiola.
The large plates section includes options like sea bream that is poached in a tomato broth that’s referred to as ‘acqua pazza’ or ‘crazy water’; a dry-aged ribeye with borlotti beans and a salsa verde; and grilled Herdwick lamb with roasted peppers, green beans, chili, and mint.
The pasta section called out to us, and we decided to get a large portion of the green tagliatelle with slow-cooked pork, vermouth, Parmesan, and lemon zest as a main. It came highly recommended by our server, and we enjoyed how the hearty ragù was balanced by the citrus and herbs so that it wasn’t too heavy, and the pasta had an excellent bite. For dessert, we were taken to the north-western region of Liguria for a delightful olive oil cake served with fresh strawberries.
As we glanced around, the dining room was buzzing with groups catching up, there was a couple on the terrace clinking glasses, and my guest and I were enjoying our meal and the London sunshine from the open window behind us.
In a nutshell
The Italian Greyhound has all the makings of a beloved neighbourhood haunt: a relaxed atmosphere, beautiful interiors, friendly staff, and a menu that has something for everyone. With a newly expanded terrace (that’s dog-friendly, too!), The Italian Greyhound should be on your list the next time you need a tipple to break up your neighbourhood stroll, are planning a girls’ night, or are in charge of finding a menu that suits everyone in your picky group.
The Italian Greyhound