Those seeking a taste of northern Italy with a stylish twist may find what they are looking for at Quadrato. On the lobby level of the Four Seasons Canary Wharf, in London’s burgeoning business district, the restaurant puts an emphasis on the freshness of its ingredients. Guests pass a sideboard of olives, bread and proscuitto as they enter the restaurant.
The restaurant offers a wide selection of small plates that can be enjoyed as appetizers or even small meals in themselves. Marinated salmon and smoked tuna complimented the cergnola olives and mortadella and artichokes. Each dish tasted fresh and flavorful, particularly the langoustine and mozzarella, but ordering a selection, with a side of Quadato’s freshly baked focaccia bread, was definitely the way to go.
After grazing on the small plates, we moved to starters. I ordered the carpaccio—sliced raw beef with mushroom slices and shavings of Parmesan cheese. The crunch of the mushrooms and sharp flavor of the Parmesan complimented the subtle flavor and soft texture of the beef.
Since this was an Italian restaurant, we had to try the pasta as well. I tried the lasagne, a traditional choice but made richer with the addition of parmesan fondue and veal sauce. My date ordered went with the lighter choice of the risotto mantecato, with porcini mushrooms.
Keeping it light for the pasta course was probably a wise choice considering the generous main courses. I opted for the roast duck breast, with potato, figs and balsamic sauce. The duck meat fell right off the bone and the figs enhanced the meat’s complex flavor phenomenally. My date’s seared sea bass with basil mash potatoes and sautéed baby vegetables was very well prepared as well.
Guests can sit out on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, which seats up to 30, with a view of trees and the nearby gym. It is an ideal space for a group reception during the warm spring and summer months.
The high shelves of wine bottles at the back of the restaurant emphasized its offerings.
For each course, the sommelier offered a pairing from Quadrato’s extensive wine menu. In addition to the sommelier, the service was wonderful—attentive and very friendly. At one point we mentioned to the server that we were looking for good cocktail bars during our visit to London. Not only did she recommend one, she had a printout of information on it sent to our room (and it turned out to be an excellent recommendation).
After all the food, we took a leisurely wine break before getting to dessert. It was worth the wait. As I often do, I ordered the tiramisu, which was exceptionally creamy, with coffee crumble to give it a wonderful texture. One of the best I’ve had. My date went with the Millefoglie Di Frutta Esotica with raspberry ice cream, a tart option that balanced my creamier one.
Explaining to the server that I felt a bit like a cocktail but was also interested in a coffee, she offered that I could do both, or might consider their signature Espresso Martini. With her endorsement, I gave it a shot and was amazed that while it was a bit sweet, it had all the rich flavor and caffeinated pop of a double macchiato. I was such a fan of the drink, I ordered a second one the next day.
46 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf, London
England E14 8RS
Tel. 44 (20) 7510-1999