What's the draw
For food-obsessed Londoners, it can be easy to forget the bounties that lie in wait in coastal towns and cities an hour or two away, and while Brighton's food scene has always been decent, the last decade or so has seen more than a handful of excellent destination and neighbourhood restaurants open up, and a food scene that's quietly excelled under its own steam. Now, a fair few years after Cin Cin's two beachside Brighton restaurants opened up, founder David Toscano and head chef Jamie Halsall have brought its artful Italian fresh pasta and sharing plates up the A23 to Foley Street.
What to drink
There's a short but sweet list of aperitif-style cocktails to get your appetite ready for the bread and pasta you're about to enjoy – we enjoyed a take on the historic martinez cocktail, a precursor to the martini and usually made with gin, dry and sweet vermouth, but here made with, sour cherry gin, 1757 Torino vermouth and sweet Maraschino cherry liqueur and Luxardo to amp up the fruitiness. With mains, we went for a grillo from Planeta in Sicily, the blend of crisp, ripe fruit and volcanic salinity and richness that's the perfect foil for a long lunch.
What to eat
On our visit, we opted for a set menu that, at £45, takes in everything from antipasti and pasta to mains and dessert, and is perfect if you're weak in the face of food envy. Some well-executed classics – an oozy burrata with pangrattato crumb, a slice of prosciutto, a slick of rich pesto rosso and verdant late-season asparagus, and a show-stopping salad of datterini tomatoes simply dressed in oil and biting vinegar – vied with more complex offerings, like our favourite dish of the day: a handful of tender ravioli, served in a butter sauce with delicate chunks of the often underrated mortadella alongside pickled Tropea onion, pea shoots and fresh peas. A beautiful blend of richness offset by freshness, and pretty much summer on a plate.
Set menu £45. 21 Foley Street, W1W 6DS; cincin.co.uk/london