Review: Cavo Mediterranean restaurant
A central London restaurant offering Mediterranean-inspired flavours and feel-good vibes, can Cavo bring a slice of sunshine to London’s soggy summer?
Tottenham Court Road, once a highway of interior design shops, now offers prime restaurant real estate. From Noble Rot Soho to Din Tai Fung, the addition of both Outernet and the Elizabeth Line has given it new magnetism, as evidenced on a drizzly summer evening in August.
As we walk explore Outernet’s impressive new Now Building, in search of the door, emojis accost us from overhead, while passers-by, phones aloft, record the spectacle. A second lap of the building and we discover the doorway tucked down a side street of sorts, where we’re greeted with wide smiles and and whisked up to emerge in a bright and contemporary bar.
Cavo, a new Mediterranean restaurant which opened quietly this spring, is founded on the pillars of three central ingredients – expertly sourced olive oil, Amalfi lemons, and vibrant Vessuvio tomatoes. Combining exceptional Mediterranean ingredients with considered modern touches, it promised a celebration of flavour, freshness, citrus and spice.
High-ceilinged and chic, industrial yet sophisticatedly so, interiors are spacious and inviting, with an elegant rooftop terrace perfectly placed for sunny summer evenings. Request a window seat and the view steals the show, up Tottenham Court Road or across Charing Cross Road, positioned perfectly to watch the buzz of people ebb and flow below.
Showcasing the restaurant’s ambitious food offering, the tasting menu is a procession of Mediterranean flavours from land and sea. Plump Fine de Claire Oysters are served on the half shell with an abundance of piquant homemade mignonette, citronette, and burnt garlic sauce. Salty Baccala mousse melts in the mouth and comes paired with slithers of sourdough, while bitesize Bigne ou Moules boldly combines sweet choux pastry and spicy mussels.
Main courses commence with small and sweet pan-fried scallops served with champagne and chilli in a butter emulsion, while parmesan and black truffle tagliolini is as good as any nonnas and, for me, the standout dish of the evening. My guest would demur though, as Pluma Iberico graced the table next; flavoursome, tender pork, cooked on the Josper with traditional peperone cruso, and served with silky mashed potatoes. Lobster Tail was fragrant and light, served in zesty tomato water, while Greek chips completed the array. Large slices of Basque Cheesecake followed which, though at odds with the dainty portion sizes, were happily and deftly devoured.
The evening was rounded out by a selection of wine from Cavo’s impressive cellar, making the most of the rich wine making tradition and warm climes of the Mediterranean.
Perfectly placed for a pre-theatre pit-stop, or mid-shop stop, Cavo offers fresh Mediterranean flavours and superb wines in a convenient central London location. From our visit, we’d suggest ordering A La Carte and making the most of Cavo’s impressive Josper Grill and Chef’s pasta-making prowess, or explore the new weekend brunch offering for plentiful Pinxtos, Paella, and Sangria.
All images courtesy of @Lateef.photography