Discreetly tucked away on Heddon Street, Piccolino is a contemporary restaurant with a traditional Italian twist. Dedicated to sourcing the very best quality ingredients from Italy, from cheeses to seasonal produce, Piccolino offers a taste of modern Italian cuisine in elegant surroundings.
The restaurant is sleek with a touch of the traditional about it. The interior is warm and welcoming with an open kitchen, complete with hanging bunches of dried chilli pepper and shelves stacked with fresh Mediterranean vegetables. It's stylish with no air of pretention. Similarly, the staff here are friendly and relaxed. There's no pestering at Piccolino. The atmosphere here lends itself from the laid back charm of an Italian village. It's a great spot to escape from the hum of the city - and very well located for that end.
On a warmer day, dining on the Heddon Street terrace would be a definite option. On this occasion, a cosy corner table right by the bread selection is ideal. The seasonal menu is full of tempting Italian dishes, shaken up with a contemporary twist. It's an extensive list offering plenty of choices for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Choose from the traditional pasta and pizza dishes to a selection of plates cooked on the charcoal grill and in the wood stone oven. Be it a rib-eye fillet you're partial to, or a dainty dish of butternut squash risotto, Piccolino will have just the thing.
Freshly baked bread is brought to the table while decisions are made over the starter. Soft, moreish and great at soaking up the flavourful olive oil that accompanies it, this bread is the perfect start to an Italian feast. Next comes calamari and aioli dip and a hot dish of sweet aubergine parmigiana. The squid is both springy and crispy - dipped in the sweet lemon and garlic, this dish really does the trick as an appetiser. The same cannot be said for the aubergine parmigiana which is a touch heavier than one would expect of a starter. Still, this is a very well composed dish. The aubergine stacks are sweet, well complimented in a rich tomato sauce and topped off with indulgent lashings of parmesan. It's a filling start but satisfying all the same.
The specials here are rotated from night to night, with the best dishes making it onto the menu. Tonight's is lobster linguini in a fresh tomato marinara. It's no surprise that this is proving a popular dish. The pasta is cooked al dente for extra texture while the lobster in red sauce bursts with flavour. Served on top of the lobster's shell and garnished with green leaves of basil, this dish is as well presented as it is tasty.
If room remains for dessert, the home-made gelato comes heavily recommended. Our favourite flavours are the rich chocolate or the salted caramel. Combine these for the ultimate sugar rush.
Piccolino combines delicious Italian cuisine with a relaxed dining experience. Stylish and contemporary, this restaurant brings traditional recipes right up to date in a city-centre setting. Get here early while the sun is out, because the terrace fill up fast. Be it a catch-up lunch with friends or an evening dinner date, Piccolino is a great choice.