There are more than a few superior restaurants in London’s Soho, and W1’s fine reputation of eating and drinking is no better embodied than Forty Dean Street – the area’s best laidback Italian. Diners are returning again and again for contemporary Italian food in an atmosphere which has thoroughly disposed of central London’s pomp and ceremony. The focus here is on the food, the atmosphere is closer to your Mamma’s kitchen than it is a Michelin starred restaurant, and is all the better for it.
Forty Dean Street offers the best of both worlds for diners in London’s Soho. At once, it is the home of excellent-quality, contemporary Italian food, in an environment that is relaxed and welcoming. The restaurant is about a five-minute walk from Oxford Street (Central, Bakerloo, Victoria lines) and within easy reach of the theatre district. The restaurant’s exterior is misleadingly simple – a single shop front in Soho belies the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen.
The menu at Forty Dean Street is a quiet homage to the dishes that have made Italian food the firm favourite among diners in the capital. From their Soho dining room, the team here are serving up beautifully plated dishes of orecchiette pasta with salami, broccoli and tomatoes, seared fresh scallops with earthy beetroot and a confit of duck on a bed of traditional cannellini beans, to name but a few of the restaurant’s winning dishes. Diners will struggle to find better value food in this part of London (the set menus are famously good value). Find the home of fine Italian dining without the distracting adornments everyday between 12pm and 12am.
Perfect all round for us on a blustery November early evening. The restaurant was cosy, candlelit inviting, with chilled background music at just the right level. Our waitress was genuinely smiley and helpful, and our dinner was delicious. We went for the set menu - £13.95 for two courses - washed down with the house white, and couldn't fault any of it . We would definitely go again. Just one thing to note - whilst it's an Italian menu, it's not a 'traditional' setting ... You'll find b/w photos of The Beatles on the walls, not pictures of Napoli and Vespas. Not that we minded one single bit!
Classic Italian cuisine in a fresh modern environment; lovely setting on Dean Street; nice fixed-price menu, but even a la carte it's great value for Soho.
Excellent food freshly cooked and a very attentive Front of House team!