As my friend’s regard me as the London restaurant guru (translate as general group PA), I’m often tasked as the person to choose and book a restaurant. Nowadays, this is rather hard job with different tastes, dietary requirements and the need for somewhere child-friendly…enter Riccardo’s the one size fits all, perfect place to please everyone!
I’m fortunate enough not have any allergies or dietary requirements but with my trip to South Africa pending I was keen to shed the extra pounds from all those tasting menus, afternoon teas and cocktails that I’ve been writing about. When Ashley from the blog Pink Julep suggested lunch as Riccardo’s I was pleased to find lots of healthy options on the menu.
The beautiful sunshine plate of grilled vegetables was perfect for my starter! Pounds inevitably pile on when you’re a food blogger, so I frequently have a few weeks off in order to get back to normal. When I’m on a health-kick I’m not faddy… I don’t eliminate any food groups and I still try to keep a balance of healthy carbs, fats and protein. Rather than do anything drastic, I simply count calories on My Fitness Pal and ramp up my exercise. The grilled vegetable dish actually appears on the main with the addition of mozzarella. However, Riccardo’s have a whole vegan menu…so move over Beyonce…I was going vegan! Well, for my starter at least. Let’s face it everything’s going to taste better when smothered in melted cheese but I really enjoyed the vegetables, and artichokes are a particular favourite of mine.
Ashley and I were lucky enough to have the man himself, Riccardo Mariti join us for lunch. He joined me in eating the vegan version of the grilled vegetables, and we also ordered another waist-friendly dish of mixed crudite to share.
Actually sharing is very much at the heart of the concept of Riccardo’s. While staying in Tuscany, Riccardo visited a little family-run restaurant, here there was no menu but extraordinarily good food was bought out of the kitchen and served family style to the entire restaurant.
His restaurant concept was born and Riccardo visited friends’ family members collecting ancestral recipes that had been handed down for generations. He put these together to create a menu ideal for sharing… there’s no division between starters and mains you just order whatever you fancy!
For main course, I ordered one of my go-to healthy options, tuna steak and salad. It was cooked rare, just as I like it.
Ashley ordered a margherita pizza and informed me that Riccardo’s was the best pizza she’d tried in London…
Talk about food envy! Riccardo’s offers a full gluten or wheat-free menu and pizza and pasta is available both in gluten-free and spelt versions. If you are gluten-free I’d really recommend checking out Kelly’s
blog, where you can find many more fantastic suggestions for gluten-free places in London and abroad.
Riccardo selected the mackerel, which also looked like an excellent healthy dish. He asked for no potatoes with his, so thumbs up for good fats and low carbs! At this point a family with a dog came into the restaurant… ‘We’re totally, pet-friendly’ Riccardo informed me…ok, this place really does suit everyone!
Now, the only thing I try to totally eliminate when I’m being healthy is the evil refined sugar, but guess what?
Riccardo’s chocolate cake is sugar and gluten-free!!
I had a lovely time with Ashley and Riccardo and I’d really recommend the place if you’re vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, on a diet, need some where child-friendly or want to bring your dog! Phew!
126 Fulham Road
020 7370 6656
Thank you to Riccardo’s for having me and providing my meal complimentary.