Italian in style

Wednesday May 3rd
Lunch today at Quirinale, an up-market Italian restaurant in the heart of political Westminster. It’s a good place for celebrity spotting – there is usually a government minister and an opposition spokesman, sitting at different tables, of course. At basement level in Great Peter Street, it is nonetheless well lit, with an agreeably unassertive minimalist décor. I ate the herb-crusted venison, which was beautifully done. It’s a slightly chewy and gamey meat. It was served on a bed of creamy mash. Afterwards came the cheese selection for which they are rightly famous. Nearly all are from small scale traditional Italian producers, and they have a range which includes several ewe’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses, with one buffalo milk, with a selection of hard and soft cow’s milk cheeses, too. A selection of five, with their mix of different breads, including olive and walnut bread, is quite enough.