Monday 13 August 2007

Taberna Etrusca, Bowchurch Yard, the City of London

Large, fairly upmarket, Italian restaurant tucked away in a quiet alleyway in the financial district. You can choose a table in the kitsch interior, decorated with elaborate plasterwork and religious murals, or in the covered courtyard. In both cases, there isn't much elbow room and you can easily eavesdrop on the other clientele - a mix of pin-striped city workers and more ordinary folk. You sit down to crisp white table cloths and napkins, plus a basket of crusty bread to dip in a saucer of olive oil while you peruse the menu. Some dishes are pricey, but they tend to be expertly-prepared and come in well-judged portions. Both the carpaccio sedano (fine slices of beef topped with flakes of parmesan) starter for £8.75 and the main course of chicken stuffed with ricotta cheese on a bed of mash potatoes and spinach (£11.75) are full of flavour. There is also an extensive list of Italian wines to choose from and service (12.5% on your bill) is professional and efficient. 7/10