Romantic evening at Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar
A skip and a hop away from London’s entertaining theatre district, lies Corinthia London – a hotel that effortlessly oozes luxury and sophistication from the moment you enter through their tall revolving doors. And it is inside this stunning hotel, where the beautiful Massimo restaurant is housed.
As a fan of art deco inspired interiors, Massimo sure has that ‘Wow’ factor going for it. And with a dim lit atmosphere, globe shaped lights reaching out of the ceilings above and a room lined with Corinthian columns, an atmosphere of intimacy is created.
Italian and Spanish are my favourite European cuisines. Simplicity, texture and flavour always come to mind whenever I think about food from these regions. I was therefore excited about getting stuck in and exploring the menu put together my what I had heard was a creative kitchen!
The Food at Massimo Restaurant
The Massimo Restaurant and Bar Aperitivo
Before we dived into satisfying our rumbling stomachs, we warmed up at their bar with their new Aperitivo offerings, which were accompanied by a complimentary, deliciously-looking spread of Italian canapés. It’s a great way to savour some of the flavours of Italian summer, inspired by Chef Andrea Cirino’s Neapolitan family heritage.
The samples of small bites reminded me of traditional English afternoon tea (a more alcoholic version at that!). Just be careful not to eat too much of these tempting bites if you’ve also got dinner booked in their restaurant! You can catch this experience at the Massimo bar from5.30-7.30PM Monday to Saturday.
The Main Dishes at Massimo Restaurant
Onto the main event and to kick things off, I went straight for a starter of scallops with saffron dressing, crunchy apple and refreshing celeriac salad. The scallops, which were perfectly seared on the outside with a shade of golden yellow, just melted in the mouth.
Who knew that something so small like this humble scallop could be packed with big, bold flavours! Equally appetising was the fish special of the day starter that Mr New Yorker opted for.
We definitely had a seafood thing going on here: scallops for starters, and as soon as I saw hake on the menu (a fish that deserves to be on more restaurant menus), it was an easy choice for what I was going to have for my mains. Light flaky texture and sweet in flavour… yes please!
Massimo’s take on this was presenting it with an almond crust on a bed of crunchy pearl barley and pepper basil salad. I felt the dish could’ve done with some more seasoning given my palate’s love of strong flavours.
Mr New Yorker loves his pasta, so with a smile and a licking of the lips, joyously tucked into the restaurant’s homemade spaghetti with baby squid and toasted almonds.
Pasta is one of those dishes that comes across as simple in concept, but hard to execute for the more picky diners amongst us.
Some like it softer in texture, others more al dente. Mr New Yorker is definitely one of the latter! This dish boasted plenty of subtle ingredients and wasn’t shy at all in exposing its glorious flavours. Flavours that matched incredibly well with the glasses of dry, aromatic white wine we were recommended.
The Dessert at Massimo Restaurant
Scanning the dessert section of the menu, we couldn’t resist trying something from it despite our stomachs telling us otherwise. As a compromise, we decided to share one.
After all, a calorie shared is a calorie halved! Despite the portion being a little on the small side, the panna cotta surrounded by slices of pineapple carpaccio and strawberries sprinkled with coconut dust, was the perfect way to end the evening.
This is an environment made for intimate conversations. Relaxed and beautiful, I could easily see myself catching up with friends here, especially at the bar. And did I mention how awesome the art deco interior is?! 🙂
Massimo Restaurant and Bar
10 Northumberland Avenue
London WC2N 5AE