Tucked away in the residential area of Chelsea sits Italian restaurant, Elistano. It’s been serving the locals for years and recently brought in a fresh new team with head chef, Daniele Urbani taking the realms. My mum is a huge fan of Italian cuisine, so it was only natural that she accompanied me when I was invited to try the new menu.
Elistano has a Mediterranean look with an al fresco dining option adding to the feel. Our table was booked for 7.30pm on a Saturday night and I’d expected to walk into a bustling place packed with locals, but instead it was strangely dead – we were the only ones in there. I’d figured this would pick up within an hour or two, as I suppose it could be considered still pretty early to dine, but only one couple and a family had arrived by the time we’d left, which was around 9.45pm. Where was everyone? Indoors watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway? Or, would Made in Chelsea be more apt? Either way, they weren’t in there.
Being empty we had the full attentions of the staff who were welcoming, attentive, relaxed and didn’t seemed fazed at all by the quietness. The menu has traditional Italian classics with a few variations too. For starter I chose the deep fried seafood with tartare sauce and mum the parmigiana melanzane. My starter was plentiful, well cooked with a nice mix of seafood and a fresh tangy sauce that complimented it nicely. Mum’s starter looked just as appetising and was reported to go down just as well.
My main was a nice hunk of chargrilled rib eye steak. Elistano source a lot of their ingredients locally and buy their meat from the prized butchers down the road. The steak was excellent, but the accompaniments weren’t. The red wine sauce was tragic – gloopy and acidic. It actually came out cold, but they kindly reheated it after I’d asked, but this didn’t help improve the flavour. Luckily it came in a separate dish so it didn’t ruin the steak. My fries were overdone too. It was a shame as it could’ve been a great main but instead it was all a bit, meh. Mum fared better with decently sized king prawns in a white wine, chilli and garlic sauce with a side of nicely cooked spinach and also some sautéed new potatoes.
Dessert for me was panna cotta and chocolate ice-cream with a caramel sauce. The panna cotta was creamy and tasty with a lovely smooth consistency. The chocolate ice-cream was intensely rich – which I liked – and chocolaty, but it was overkill to serve both of them together. Dessert for mum was the classic tiramisu, which seemed to tick the right boxes.
Overall I wasn’t bowled over by Elistano, a few tweaks here and there and maybe that could change. It was unfortunate that it was so quiet on the night I visited as the ambience was sadly lacking. Dishes for starters are around £8, mains £17 and desserts £5.
Food I Fancy dined as guests.
25 – 27 Elystan Street
London, SW3 3NT
Tel: o20 7584 5248