Locanda Locatelli, London

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Indy Lifestyle Online

There are many other Italian restaurants with A-list celebs, nightmarish booking systems, and hit-and-miss service - step forward Cipriani - but Locanda Locatelli has made it onto our cool list because the chef-proprietor, Giorgio Locatelli, himself is cool.

There are many other Italian restaurants with A-list celebs, nightmarish booking systems, and hit-and-miss service - step forward Cipriani - but Locanda Locatelli has made it onto our cool list because the chef-proprietor, Giorgio Locatelli, himself is cool. Why? Because he combines an enthusiastic and innovative vision with integrity and commitment, and has avoided the trappings of becoming an over-exposed celebrity chef. Located in the corner of the Churchill InterContinental hotel, LL opened amid much hype a couple of years ago, and immediately attracted A-listers such as Madonna, Tony Blair and, um, an assortment of celebrity chefs. The sleek and stylish interior, designed by David Collins, is at once retro and contemporary, with screens, mirrors and cappuccino and caramel-hued leather banquettes. The ingredient-focused seasonal cooking, currently the fashionable person's mantra, is particularly strong on seafood. A menu, which changes regularly and specialises in Piedmont and Tuscany cooking, includes deep-fried calf's feet with radicchio, octopus carpaccio with tomato tartare, and pork fillet with mostarda and borlotti beans. It also features puddings such as wild blackberries with yoghurt sorbet and foam, and strawberry and mango lasagne, which are skilfully executed. Another factor that adds to this restaurant's cool appeal is its range of breads - come on darlings, Atkins is so passé - created by another cool foodie, the award-winning baker Dan Leppard.

Locanda Locatelli, 8 Seymour Street, London, 020 7935 9088, www.locandalocatelli.com, Mon to Sat Lunch 12-3pm, dinner 7-11pm (11.30pm on Fri and Sat). Meal for two, excl wine: £75

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