Honestly, you spend all summer in Tuscany, come home and find an Italian restaurant has opened round the corner.


And another Italian restaurant? Well, hardly any old or new trat. This is just opened by the restaurateur with the magic touch - Hakkasan and Busaba Eathai's Alan Yau. His first European venture has an irresistible menu - courgette flower, ricotta and parmesan gratin; spaghetti with anchovy, dill and sultanas; cuttlefish with peas and tomato - cooked with brio. Cool looking, good cooking and decent pricing - £30 for the works - looks like another wow from Yau.

66 Baker Street, London W1 (020-7224 0808)

Caffe Zonzo

Stands out from the crowd of Newcastle pizzerias - not just because it doesn't do pizzas. They use the oven for baking focaccia and crisp, thin rosemary and salt-sprinkled flat bread. Dishes are unusually rustic: salmon baked with fennel on swede and carrot mash; peperonata; rack of lamb with lentils and cherry tomatoes. The mix of brick, leather and light looks good, too.

Goldspink Lane, Sandyford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (0191 230 4981)

Fresh Italy

This summer's little bit of Italy in the City. But a poke in the eye for the Italian Slow Food movement - it's fast food. Pick your pasta or risotto and it's ready in a couple of minutes. There are a few seats, but most people hot foot it back to their desk little more than a fiver lighter. They'll be clutching a crafty insulated carton of tasty carb, plus a tiramisu or panna cotta.

38-48 Ludgate Hill, London EC4 (020-7329 5729)


New bambino on the block in Edinburgh. This is the second Sugo, opened three months ago and kept busy since knocking out pizza (roast veg and a seafood calzone) and pasta (penne with chorizo and mushroom) as well as more ambitious and less Italian dishes like duck breast in bramble wine and juniper berry sauce. Tiramisu for afters shows that even though the chefs aren't Italian that's where the owner's roots are.

103-105 Daldry, Edinburgh (0131 337 6711)