Just opened on Catherine’s Street, what is now becoming a foodie haven home to Augustus Harris, Opera Tavern and Mishkins, is the Italian restaurant Four to Eight. I was lucky enough to luncheon here during its soft-launch, enjoying dishes for 50% of their usual prices. At such amazingly good value for central London, I couldn’t help but enjoy the experience – but this wasn’t just because of the excitement of a soft launch, but also for the elegant food and thoughtful service.
Describing itself as offering “beautiful simple dining” – which was exactly what Italian food should be – Four to Eight certainly matched up to this expectation. A celebration of modern Italian cookery featuring the finest quality ingredients expertly prepared to their simple dining philosophy, Four to Eight’s chefs hail from all over Italy, sharing the dishes and flavours of their regions with you.
With its monochrome and minimalist décor, the one-hundred-seater restaurant feels smart but simple, making it an ideal pre-/post- theatre dining spot. The food also has an effortless yet beautiful quality. The menu is split into small plates, mains, pastas and sides, with each dish given an inventive name that hints at the texture, shape and general “look” of the food.
I opted for “Curving and Twisting”, a pasta composed of trofie, girolles, goat’s cheese zabligione and sage. Perfectly al dente, as it should be, the pasta was served in a stunning water-colour blue bowl and garnished with roasted red peppers, earthy wild mushrooms and a creamy sauce. Whilst it could have done with a touch more seasoning, the herby sage and fresh basil leaves were fragrant. My companion enjoyed her Truffle Chicken, with the truffle adding a touch of richness, and a side of seasonal greens.
Deserts are made by an in-house pastry chef. We chose to share the vanilla pannacotta, a creamy yet light desert served with limencello and blackberries, and a pistachio biscotti for dunking action. And we were glad that we were sharing, not only as we were quite full after the mains, but also as the desert was generously portioned.
Whether you want to relax with a light lunch, indulge in a celebratory dinner or have a quick bite to eat before or after the theatre, Four to Eight is the perfect spot for an Italian Covent Garden meal and is a fine competitor to Angela Hartnett’s Italian emporium.
Four to Eight, 1 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JZ