We had booked artusi for a friend's birthday dinner. Our booking was for 8.30, and they needed to be sure to be home by 11 as they have a small baby. We arranged to go for a drink beforehand elsewhere. When we arrived, we were told (not very apologetically) that our table wasn't ready and would we like to have a drink"at the bar". Which we didn't, really, since we'd already been for a drink, and especially not when we discovered the bar was actually a dark, uncomfortable bit of corridor.
We eventually sat down - having had to enquire ourselves about progress, we weren't kept informed - almost 20 minutes late. Our very cheerful waitress did come over straight away to take our orders, but then insisted on remembering them rather than writing them down. I don't mind that as long as it causes me no inconvenience and the order is still correct but instead we had to repeat them and say them in a particular order so she could remember them. Then she had to come back and check she had remembered one of our choices correctly. I do wonder what is wrong with writing things down....
The food was really superb. The pasta with anchovies was perfect, just the right level of salty, the pasta perfectly cooked. The pea and pancetta pappardelle was brilliant, and the salsa verde with the artichokes was great. Mains were also good, especially the pork in milk. My only slight complaint would be that the pork came with fried potatoes which were very nice but it all felt quite fatty and needed something green on the side - they very kindly made us some greens when we asked, but as they don't officially serve side dishes, they do need to get the composition of the main courses right. Ice creams for pudding were good, but the tiramisu was pretty ordinary.
So in general, the service was friendly but too scatty and casual for a place charging these prices, the food almost universally excellent, but all needs a few teething problems sorted before it becomes a firm neighbourhood favourite.
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