People Talking About Olivocarne

"The blonde and I took Prospero Baily... We started with prosciutto and figs. You'd expect the ham to be good, the Sardinian version particularly so, but figs are rarely worth the mouth room in London. These were green, peeled and wonderful...
The success of the starters was lardo on warm toast. Prospero had never tried this before... It was a revelation; he was over-whelmed by it's loveliness. "This is the best thing that could ever happen to a pig," he eulogised...
Italians cook rabbit better than anyone and this was perfect...
Olivcarne proves that chains don't have to be centralised, sterilised formulas driven by logistics..."

"Every now and again, David and Samantha Cameron escape from No.10 for dinner, and they often enjoy Sardinian food and wine at either of Mauro Sanna’s restaurants, Olivomare and Olivocarne, in Elizabeth Street...I had a Sardinian feast with Mauro the other night and it was one of the finest Italian meals I have eaten, and drunk....we began with roast marrowbone, enlivened by a little spice. Then came gnocchi with black truffles. I can still taste them. To follow, steak tartare chopped up with bottarga (grey mullet roe, a Sardinian speciality). That managed to outshine the truffles. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten.

The principal course was to be suckling pig. I was sceptical...suckling pig sounds as if it should be delicious, but I have always felt that the porker would be better after a few months rootling and fattening among the acorns and beech-mast, enriching the flesh and ensuring succulent crackling. Perhaps a suckling pig ought to be left to suckle a bit longer. Not Mauro’s one. Though it may have been a brief life, none of it was wasted. That little piggy packed a palatory punch...Puddings followed, especially a gelato made out of frozen yoghurt with Sardinian bitter honey...the restaurants would work well for a banquet...but they could work equally well, if like the Camerons, you just wanted to unwind for a couple of hours with excellent food and a decent bottle".

People Talking About Olivo

"This is an exemplary way to grow local restaurants, a small chain that serves a local community without ever losing quality or consistency or it's sense of place, either where it comes from or where it is".

"The eldest member of Mauro Sanna’s small family of Sardinian restaurants remains a popular destination for office workers & locals who appreciate its friendly charm… regulars still pack the place for the decent-value lunch menu... White bean soup & Sardinian ham with char-grilled fennel look good on the starter list, ahead of plates of spaghetti bottarga (with dried mullet roe) & roasted rabbit wrapped in Parma ham, with Sardinian cheeses or chilled ‘torroncino’ (nougat cream) to round things off."

"All of Olivo restaurants are worth talking about but Olivo with it's chargrilled Calves liver and Black Tagliatelle with cuttlefish is the one we're talking about most."

"An original menu of delicious, simple dishes and a wonderful Sardinian wine-list draws some reporters back time and again to this cramped and energetic Belgravia fixture".

"This is an exemplary way to grow local restaurants, a small chain that serves a local community without ever losing quality or consistency or it's sense of place, either where it comes from or where it is".

People Talking About Olivomare

"The room is the best new dining room I've seen for years. Dinner was very, very good. It's a very good restaurant. And I'm going to give it five stars, because it also has sisters: Oliveto, which makes constantly brilliant pizzas that have been feeding my kids for a decade, and the original Olivo. This is an exemplary way to grow local restaurants, a small chain that serves a local community without ever losing quality or consistency or it's sense of place, either where it comes from or where it is".

"Sardinian islanders have an ingrained love of seafood – a passion that is fully expressed at this stylish neighbourhood eatery. ‘Blindingly white’ from floor to ceiling, the modish interior is pointed up with strange jellyfish light fittings & a modernist fish mural that hints at the piscine delights on offer. Oysters, sea urchins, anchovies, lobsters, monkfish et al appear in all manner of guises, from risottos & pastas to char-grills with bold Italian sauces. Start with cured tuna, green beans & sun-dried tomatoes before sampling crab linguine with garlic & chilli or salt-crusted sea bass. A fine selection of Sardinian whites stands out on the exclusively Italian wine list, which also includes a smattering of island ‘stickies’ – try them with tiramisu or a slice of date & almond tart"

People Talking About Oliveto

"Ever since mankind learnt to walk upright and sprinkle oregano on dough, nothing has captured the futility of human existence like the search for the perfect pizza.. I too have long sought the holy grail of cheese on toast (“Italian Welsh rarebit”, as pizza was amusingly styled when it reached Britain in the Fifties), always finding some flaw with even the best of them. If the crust was perfect, the toppings were mediocre, and vice versa. If the herbiness was just right, the mozzarella wasn’t. Whether in the traditional hotbeds of southern Italy and New York City, or in more recherché pizza-making hot spots such as Patagonia, Antigua and Yeovil, my quest inevitably ended in disappointment.

I believe, though, it may have ended – last week in Belgravia, of all places...

While so many feted restaurants are a touch Marie Celeste in daylight hours, this place was absolutely rammed, and the pizza explained why... this pizza was sensational.

In a bid to avoid a return to Pseud’s Corner, I won’t come over too elegiac about the lightness of the crispy, thin crust, which puffed out into airy bubbles at the rim and had that gorgeous hint of borderline burntness at the base. The toppings were also outstanding. My friend went for the girliest pizza on offer, the Caprino, which brought together goat’s cheese, aubergine and sun-dried tomatoes. “Not soggy, not dry, good and herby, generous with the tomato sauce and mozzarella, really well balanced toppings,” he said. “This is magnificent.” So was my Salsiccia, a congeries of minced Sardinian sausage and, offsetting their savouriness, sweet red onion. I was charmingly rebuked by the waitress (“too much, too much!”) for festooning it with dried chillies, but pizza cannot be too eye-watering for my taste.

The temptation, when asked about puddings, was to ask for another pizza. Instead we shared a wodge of spectacular tiramisù, before the Gwyneth Paltrow of the Fourth Estate ordered fresh mint tea rather than coffee, and refused the complimentary cough-mixtureish Italian liqueur offered alongside it.

Who would have thought that my global pizza quest could have concluded a five-minute walk from the Telegraph office? The Wizard of Oz was right. Give my best to the Munchkins, colour my slippers ruby and call me Dorothy: when it comes to pizza, there truly is no place like home."

""The best pizza in Europe!" (well almost); no wonder that, at weekends, this not-exactly-cheap Belgravia Sardinian is "teeming with smartly-dressed tots and their glamorous parents" – book ahead!"