Senzanome is one of only two Italian restaurants in Brussels to be awarded a Michelin star thanks to owners Nadia and Giovanni Bruno's seemingly effortless blend of classic dishes and refined cooking techniques. Yet far from being a clinical temple of gastronomy where diners talk in hushed tones and the service is stiff, Senzanome has the feel of a genuine family-run enterprise. Nadia and Giovanni took over the running of the restaurant from their parents and haven't looked back since, creating a friendly atmosphere that echoes its stylish yet welcoming decor.
The menu is relatively tight and guided by the seasons with chef Giovanni dedicated to using fresh, Italian ingredients to demonstrate the breadth of cuisine Italy has to offer. Classic dishes fill the menu, such as vitello tonnato – thin slices of roast veal, tuna mayonnaise and capers – and the Sicilian delicacy sardine beccafico – fish stuffed with herbed breadcrumbs, pecorino, pine nuts and raisins, balsamic and olive oil and tomato salad, each refined and brought up to date for today's more discerning diner.
A strong Italian-led wine list plays an equally crucial role in Senzanome's authentic Italian heritage. A strong selection of prosseco and franciacorta wines head up the list, followed by an extensive red and white offer that represents all of Italy's key wine growing regions.
Dedication to the restaurant means Giovanni and Nadia are always in the kitchen and front of house respectively. When the pair go on holiday, from late July to mid August, the restaurant closes with them so that no customer misses out on their Italian hospitality.
Nestled in the heart of Bermondsey, Zucca is a one of a new breed of Italian restaurants to open in London that serve top quality, authentic Italian food without an eye-watering bill at the end. Chef patron Sam Harris, formerly of the River Cafe, produces a concise, daily changing menu of classic dishes served the Italian way - hearty, colourful, simple yet bursting with flavour.
Segugio's philosophy is to showcase regional dishes in a more modern light while retaining the honest simple tastes of the Italian kitchen. Much of the food is handmade, including its pasta, bread, ice cream, pastries and chocolates, while the wine list showcases Italy's small, artisan vineyards as well as the more established wine houses. The compact menu, with fish and meat coming in daily, means the offer is limited in choice but not in execution.