Living The La Dolce Vita Lifestyle At Chucs, Westbourne Grove

18th January 2018

There's been a penchant for luxury clothing brands to open their own restaurants to further entice fickle shoppers to visit their stores. Think Ralph's Coffee & Bar for Polo Ralph Lauren and Thomas’s cafe for Burberry. Now you can add one more into the mix in the form of Chucs at Westbourne Grove. They offer a relaxed elegance in their range of clothing, which has been translated in terms of their style to the decor and design of their restaurant menu.

There is an attractive bar section at the shop front along with an inviting display of fine Italian produce for sale then the restaurant is split into an upstairs and a downstairs part. We stayed in the smart casual upstairs area with comfy white sofa seating and pristine vivid red coloured tables. On the wall, are countless photos bringing the Amalfi sunshine into the eyes of the hungry diners.

The homemade pasta here is as authentic as they come; we sampled a dish of tagliatelle ai funghi. The pasta had the type of al dente chew, you only find in rustic, old-school restaurants in the heart of Italy. Pepata di vongole was another showcase of the best of Italian cooking: finding fresh ingredients, in this case, clams and just adding light touches of herb and butter and really letting the primary ingredient shine on their own right.

The menu is broken down into the typical antipasti, primi and secondi sections, so it is a place to arrive hungry if you want to try the various options. We dived right into the secondi section for our main course as they had some enticing sounding dishes. One of the most iconic Roman dishes is beef straccetti and the version at Chucs has such thinly sliced beef, I thought I was being offered prime sukiyaki beef from Japan. It is a simple dish to make as long as you add high-quality olive oil and just the right amount of salt and pepper; here, they also offer rocket, chilli and garlic.

Parmigiana might be the only vegetarian option in the secondi section, but this is a dish even your meat-loving friends might be clamouring for. There were layers upon layers of dreamy melting cheese and tomato separated by thin slices of deep-fried aubergine. It feels as substantial as any of the other dishes we saw coming out that evening.

Cannolo Siciliano is normally a little tube of sweet delight in Italy; the version here is very well-portioned with a crunchy fried pastry outer shell encasing the sweet, creamy interior. My one piece of advice at Chucs is to buy one size larger at the shop before dining at their welcoming, authentic restaurant.
For more information on Chucs, see here.
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