From the early days of its conception, I’ve been a big fan of the pop-up restaurants on the Selfridges’ rooftop and it’s always exciting to see what’s coming next! This autumn it’s going Italian with the opening of Il Tetto, inspired by Tuscan trattorias, rural country side and seasonal ingredients from Italy.
Take the express lift to the top (you can also have a peek at the cosmetics and perfume on the way) and once there you’ll be transported to the gorgeous indoor / outdoor space. It’s perfect for those looking for autumnal vibes with beautiful tones of terracotta and green, plants hanging from the ceiling and all the accessories that make up an authentic Italian kitchen.
There’s a bar at one end, an open kitchen run by Head Chef Luca Terraneo (who used to be at L’Anima) and there’s an outdoor terrace where you can snuggle under blankets drinking Hot Tails. From the terrace you can take in views of the London skyline. relaxing after a day shopping in one of London’s most famous department stores.
My rather adorable lunch date took in the atmosphere whilst my sister and I ordered a glass of prosecco to get into the Italian spirit.
Spoiler alert: all the food here is good and it’s no surprise coming from renowned restauranteur Des McDonald who always seems to have the winning formula.
I think Italian starters are always perfect for sharing and here they’re served in the style of Venetian small plates. The beef carpaccio made from air dried salted black Angus beef and served with rocket, Grana Padano reserve was prepared and seasoned just perfectly. And are you really having an Italian feast if you don’t have burrata? It’s served slightly differently here with 12 years old IGP balsamic vinegar, pickled celery, radicchio and toasted hazelnuts. A plate that’s both beautiful and delicious, I’d also suggest ordering a bread selection to mop up any of that delicious olive oil and balsamic left on the plate.
Seeing two of our favourites on the specials menu we couldn’t help but order both. Spaghetti with seafood has to be up there with my top five dishes of all time so I’m very fussy about it and this one ticked all the boxes. Homemade pasta, cooked perfectly al dente with just the right amount of sauce clinging to the spaghetti. The beautifully prepared seafood was the crowning glory of a delicious dish. Octopus with humous was the other special and once again we were impressed with how tasty it was, the chefs getting the smoky char just right.
Our salmon dish was chosen from the main menu and I loved how crisp the skin was, the bed of braised cannellini beans with black cabbage and sun blushed tomatoes were the perfect accompaniment – light yet comforting and filling.
Also on the menu are the restaurant’s luxury pizzas which come straight from the pizza oven – I was very tempted by the sardinian ham, burrata, rocket and Datterini tomato pizza but it probably would have been wrong to order four main courses between two (what a shame that Jackson’s not on solid foods yet).
Definitely don’t skip dessert – Matthew Hayes, formerly Executive Pastry Chef for Corbin & King (That’s the Wolseley, Fischers and The Delaunay to name a few) has just been appointed pastry chef for Des McDonald’s restaurants and his vast experience shows. Our lovely waiter recommended our two desserts with the suggestion that they were light but very tasty.
Semifreddo al limone amalfitano (iced lemon parfait, meringue, curd and biscuit) and Mousse al gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut mousse with caramelised hazelnuts) are absolute must tries both sweet but not overly so and the perfect treats to finish on along with a good cup of Italian coffee!
My sister and I were huge fans of Il Tetto, so much so that I really don’t think you need to be shopping in Selfridges’ as a reason to visit. It’s most certainly worth going for the restaurant alone.
400 Oxford Street,
020 7318 3287
We were guests of Il Tetto