Smart Living

Where to eat: Harry’s Dolce Vita

In need of a dose of retro charm and delicious Italian cooking? Look no further than this stylish Knightsbridge venue

You’d never guess Harry’s Dolce Vita, tucked on the quiet street behind Harrods in Knightsbridge, only opened last month. It feels like it’s been there forever. Inspired by the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice, the restaurant celebrates Italy’s iconic la dolce vita era.

Evoking the glamour of 1950s and 60s Italy, it has charm in abundance. Colourful Murano glass, luxe Fortuny fabrics and vintage brass fixtures come together to create the kind of old-world opulence that Sophia Loren would have been familiar with. 

Tables with tanned leather banquettes jostle for restaurant in the broad eating space, while the front of house staff sashay and bump through with typical Italian charisma. No one sits too close to the people next to them, but it’s just tight enough to create a convivial atmosphere. Perhaps it’s this that makes it feel like an institution. 

More likely it’s the menu: truffles, burrata, carpaccio, unctuous ravioli parcels filled with crab and scallops, hefty pieces of lasagne, rocket, parmesan, oily tomato salads. In other words, classic Italian ciccetti, antipasti, pasta dishes, and meat and fish main courses. There’s no clever twist, or minimalist chic, or fusion ideas here. It’s straight up, good quality, Italian cooking, with a soundtrack of Dean Martin in the background to make you feel like you’re in an old school populist Italian restaurant with a mamma stirring a pot of Bolognese sauce in the kitchen downstairs. 

Kick off by rolling dice to make your own unique Negroni combo and round off the night with a glass of homemade limoncello. You’ll be singing amore all the way home.

harrysdolcevita.com, 27-31 Basil Street, SW3 1BB