Il Trillo Ristorante is situated in the heart of Chelsea on Hollywood Road. The name of the road really does pay homage to the celebs spotted round this area as they often frequent the lovely gastro pub opposite, The Hollywood Arms. Don’t be surprised to see Hugh Grant propping up the bar there, but be warned, best to leave him alone to enjoy his pint.
Il Trillo is quite unassuming from the outside but don’t be deceived.
Once you’re through the door, your eyes light up at the prettily decorated interior with bottles of wine on show in racks on the walls, to the twinkly lights adorning the trees. You don’t realise quite how big the place is from the outside, but they definitely cater for large numbers in an evening. The larger tables of big parties are towards the back of the restaurant, whilst the ‘date night’ tables are up at the front.
We took our seats at a table for two and started scanning the menu along with the specials on offer.
Our waitress quickly brought us a little canapé to start our taste buds on their Italian journey, always a nice touch and definitely appreciated. We asked for some bread to keep us going whilst we studied the menu and picked our wine. We were hungry!
It was nice to see a wine list that didn’t involve the cheapest bottle being £35 or more and we opted for a bottle of Colle Massari Melacce Montecucco Vermentino, Tuscany, Italy at only £24 which also wasn’t the cheapest on offer.
On to the menu…
For starters I went for the Artichokes in crunchy pancetta & chickpeas sauce which was just tasty as can be. I have a slight obsession with artichokes and this was a great contrast of flavours and quite simply mourish. I could definitely have had the same again.
Will picked one of the specials, Tuna tartare with Trevisan radicchio and peas coulisse. We’ve both become huge fans of tuna particularly after tasting some beautiful tuna steak in Barbados on holiday last year. The tuna was fantastic and they didn’t scrimp on portion size.
Having spent a wonderful week in Tuscany last year for a best friend’s wedding, the pasta course was what we were both really looking forward to. The question is, would it live up to the high expectations we both had.
For the main course I had pasta filled with buffalo mozzarella and aubergine, in a guinea fowl ragu. I always think guinea fowl is an underestimated meat and true to form, it delivered big flavours in this sumptuous pasta dish. This was the kind of meal where you made those annoying ‘mmmmmmm’ noises as you ate each mouthful. I begrudgingly gave Will a mouthful of the fantastic pasta, just so he knew what he was missing out on.
Will opted for what I might normally have gone for had I not had eaten it about a week prior, pasta with wild boar marinated in Chianti and bay leaves. I must admit, he picked well. It was rich, meaty and took us straight back to those side street restaurants in Tuscany.
We obviously started the meal saying we’d only have two courses but quite clearly we were never going to miss out on dessert when the first two courses had been so good. I picked off the specials menu and had the ricotta and chocolate tart, which was accompanied by a dark chocolate sorbet.
It was so light with the right balance of sweetness that meant you ended the meal feeling full but not bursting. Perfect.
The thing you really noticed about this restaurant was that it was full of Italians, which in my opinion only gives further credibility to this establishment. It had that slightly buzzy and rowdy feel that you get with very extrovert Italians in the house, gesticulating wildly to get their point across in that very European way. It was a great atmosphere to be a part of on a Friday night.
With our wine finished…
We had our cappuccinos and they kindly ended our meal with one final treat which was a trio of biscotti of various flavours including pistachio, amaretto and hazelnut. Yum!
For 3 courses, a bottle of wine and service, our meal came to £100. I personally think this was great value for money for an experience that transported us all the way back to sunny Tuscany. I couldn’t recommend Il Trillo Ristorante more highly, it really is a taste of Italy.
Il Trillo is located on 4 Hollywood Road, Chelsea London, SW10 9HY