Il Cuoco Galante
Always one to pioneer a new concept, chef Philippe Baranes (Braisenville, Dessance) has called upon an old culinary treaty from 1773, Il Cuoco Galante (The Galant Chef), to perfect his third restaurant. There’s a spectacular open kitchen and chic décor (brass, granite and oak) in this always-packed space that’s now the playground of chef Ilaria Conti (ex-David Toutain). On a menu almost entirely dedicated to her native Italy, she illuminates it with one or two nods to the past. For us, the day we went for lunch: a delicious chickpea cream served with a raw langoustine marinated with thyme, and sautéed baby chard; excellent spaghetti al pomodoro, made using a classic 18th-century recipe; and an irresistible affogato, prepared here with chilled coffee and a licorice ice cream. To drink, there’s the same Italian flair: En to Pan, a Tuscan orange wine from La Ginestra (€9.50 a glass), a white Lazio from La Piana dei Castelli (€35 a bottle) or a Barbera-del-Montferrato from Silvio Morando (€38). Set menu €20-24 (weekday lunch), à la carte €32-44. // V.V.