You need to eat here: Bernardi’s, London

It was another rainy afternoon and we’re strolling around central London trying to find a restaurant. There was one I intended to use for our second wedding anniversary but I got persuaded otherwise. Today seemed like a good day to finally try Bernardi’s. This simple and laid back Italian restaurant is located in Marylebone, close to Marble Arch, just off Edgware Road. The soft lighting and earthy tones made the place warm and welcoming. Add a little jazz in the background and one could well spend an entire afternoon here. 

But we came for food.

Reading a menu from any European country other than the UK can be off putting, especially if you’re not well travelled. Google becomes your best friend. What is “arancini?” Only thing Italian I know is “buongiorno.” This doesn’t help today. Added to that, we don’t eat pork or shell fish. It is always an adventure going to a new restaurant and figuring out what’s worth having. “I’ll give you guys some more time,” said the waitress with a quaint Italian accent. We eventually decided to forego the starters and hit the main course. 

I opted for the Veal Milanese, datterini tomato, Parmasean and brussel tops. What is veal? It’s actually cattle meat. This reminds me of Abraham serving a fatted calf to his three heavenly visitors. 

Main: Veal Milanese, datterini tomato, Parmasean and brussel tops
Milanese simply means the meat is breaded and deep fried. The veal was fresh, crispy and juicy. The crunchy exterior gave way to a firm but delectable meat. This was served with sweet tasting datterini tomatoes, Parmesan cheese on brussel tops leaves. Datterini actual means “little”. These are similar to cherry tomatoes. The rich flavour of the cheese complemented the entire dish so well. It might have been what made the entire meal pop.

My wife took a salad. Who goes out to have a salad? My darling wife. 

Salad: Italian leaves, bloody orange, radish, feta, pomegranate & pistachio
Of course I had to taste this salad. First of all, it looked absolutely spectacular with the brightly coloured fruits laid against bland leaves. My eyes fully engaged, now it was time for my mouth to participate. The first mouthful was an explosion of flavours and superb mix of textures. The bloody oranges provided some sweetness with a bit of acidity. This was coupled with sweet pomegranates, mix in crunchy pistachios, zesty radish and you become lost from the infusion of flavours. If you don’t remain quiet and still it becomes difficult to describe all the tastes oozing from just one bite. One could easily forget that grilled chicken breast was even on the plate.
We take forever to choose what we want to eat then we invariably end up preferring each other’s meal. The end result today….
If you do visit Bernardi’s on the weekend, get there in time for brunch. If you miss it, then the lunch menu is equally fantastic. 
Buon appetito!

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