The acclaimed Salt Yard Group turn their hand to Italian, with stellar results
Words Hannah Hopkins
Reflecting the opulent glamour of the Italian city, Veneta is the latest enchanting space from Simon Mullins and Ben Tish of Salt Yard Group. Fans of their other ventures – Dehesa, Opera Tavern, Salt Yard and Ember Yard to name a few – will be equally taken with this new opening, which takes inspiration from Venice’s vibrant culinary scene.
Noticeably more swanky than their other restaurants, and part of the new St James’s Market development, the decor nails old school-cool, with classic bar-counter seating, banquette booths and intimate tables. It’s hard to peel your eyes away from the handcrafted ironwork chandeliers in the main dining room, but if you do you’ll spot specially-commissioned oil paintings and glasswork from Ramon Otting – designed to reflect the distinctive hue of the water that surrounds Venice.
With a nod to the city’s pivotal location on the silk and spice trade routes, the food is distinctively rich and utterly delicious. Standout dishes include kid goat ragu with fresh pappardelle, charcoal grilled monkfish with anchovy sauce and salsify and chicken braised in almond milk with Medjool dates and saffron. A classic Venetian raw bar takes pride of place behind the main beautiful bar, offering an ever-changing selection of British and Venetian seafood. There is also one of the most incredible bespoke cheese and salumi selections we’ve ever seen.
Despite the plethora of inviting dishes, ensure you save room for pud. The vanilla pannacotta with chestnuts and poached pear is a seasonal favourite, but the warm chocolate ganache with rich milk sorbet, orange curd and hazelnut brittle is sure to draw a smile. Co-founder Simon Mullins has curated an extensive list of wines that focus exclusively on Northern Italian regions, as well as an exclusive range of Italian vermouths and bitters, rarely seen in the UK, giving you plenty of options for a pre-dinner aperitif or Italian cocktail.
With a glamorous interior design befitting of La Serenissima, a menu that pays homage to Venice’s eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines and a killer drinks list, this is a restaurant sure to impress on date night. Our tip? Book a table on the mezzanine floor for extra privacy and a vantage point over the bustling floor below.