Desde el Alma
Opened in 2002 by Alberto Verdi, Desde el Alma (‘from the soul’) is said to be a dangerous place for a man to take a date. He’s advised to make sure he’s accompanied by two young ladies, as one will fall in love with chef Lucio Cantini and the other will fall in love with him for taking her there.
Meanwhile in the heat of his kitchen, simplicity is crucial to Lucio’s menu. He produces divine salmon and beef dishes, which are a cut above. Although by now you’re probably feeling sick at the sight of the word ‘beef’, at Desde el Alma they really do deliver, so order the steak fillet with mashed potatoes and a bottle of Malbec. If you really have to deviate, the Patagonian lamb is superb.
Book ahead to reserve the table in front of the fireplace surrounded by snug sofas and illuminated by scented candles, although you will then be the centre of attention. The food, mood and setting are all in the fabulously seductive category and hidden behind wooden shutters, which are only opened ‘when things get too hot inside’.
Congo is just a few yards down the road for a cool-off drink.