L’Anima means “soul” in Italian and the aim of this City-restaurant is is to provide a glimpse into the very soul of southern Italian cuisine, featuring modern takes on hearty classics. The spring menu revolves around fresh, zesty ingredients like artichoke slaw with cured fish roe, and asparagus with egg and guanciale.
There’s also a L’Anima Cafe and Deli located next-door, serving more relaxed food to eat in or take out. The spring menu is available now for £35 for two courses or £40 for three courses, including two glasses of wine.
APPEARANCE: Located across the bottom of a modern office development, L’Anima is certainly bright, with floor to ceiling windows on two sides providing plenty of opportunity to watch the suits walk by. As is often the case with modern developments, L’Anima struggles a little to bring the space to life, and the white furniture and pale floor gives it a vague hint of the airport departure lounge. It is, however, bustling at lunch, which helps to breath some character into it. There’s also a bar that looks like it’s just been beamed from the 1980s, a totem of black stone that glows negatively against the stark white room.
TRY THIS: The beetroot tortellini with smoked burrata is the stuff of dreams, as is the baked cod in a saffron seafood guazzetto.
WHO? Sardinian chef Antonio Favuzzi heads up the kitchen. He’s a graduate of Alan Yau’s Anda in Marylebone, Franco’s on Jermyn Street, The Wolseley and Corbin & King restaurant St Alban. It’s been open since 2009 and it’s Californian property developer Peter Marano’s debut restaurant.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? Being a skip, hop and a jump from Bishopsgate, L’Anima is made with the working man and woman in mind. The spacious dining room allows for meetings that won’t be overheard by the people at the next table and the dishes are light enough to allow you to get some work done afterwards – as long as you don’t delve too deep into the impressive wine menu. You won’t be turned away for rocking up in jeans and trainers but you’ll be in the minority. L’Anima feels like the kind of place that things get done.
NEED TO BOOK? Yes, if you want a table between 12-2pm. Log onto lanima.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 020 7422 7000.
THE VERDICT: Great food in professional surroundings; this place has “working lunch” written all over it.
ONE MORE THING: You can organise cookery master-classes with chef Antonio Favuzzi, where he will teach you how to prepare anything from Mottra Sterlet caviar to pan di spagna (sponge cake); prices from £120 per person.