Ready, Sette, Go: We Dined At This Swish Knightsbridge Restaurant Where New York Meets Italian Nights

I’ve only ever frequented Knightsbridge to wander around Harrods, gawp at the food hall and then leave. So, to venture into the wealthy area for dinner seemed alien yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. I adopted the persona of a woman who means business and strutted over to Sette, an Italian eatery from New York City’s Scarpetta restaurant family.

Typically, you can tell how bougie a place is by how hard it is to open the door, so I knew I was in for a treat as I heaved open the towering shard of thick glass before me. I was led over to a cosy corner, equipped with an individual lamp and a white marble side table, where I then ordered a margarita Italiana (£18), made with Patron Silver, Aperol, Cointreau, lime juice, agave and waited for my dinner date to arrive. As soon as she did, she ordered exactly the same drink as me and I couldn't blame her. Garnished with a dried slice of orange, the mellow citrus notes of the Aperol worked wonders with the punch of the tequila. It made for a refreshing cocktail that could quite easily be drank too quickly, and nearly was.

Sette London Review | DesignMyNightSette's menu features quality cuts of steak from the grill with your choice of sauce.

Taking in my surroundings, the space had an air of hotel about it, with its quiet music and incredibly attentive reception staff. The bar took centre stage, crowned with a halo of drinks and a back-lit countertop. Mirrors graced the walls, along with grey leather sofas and lighting reminiscent of a club lounge. After being promptly directed to our seats in the far corner of the room, we were presented with a complimentary bread basket and a plate of mini pizzas that the chef thought we might like, which, considering that ‘za makes up 50% of my diet, I did.

To begin (properly), I opted for the seared Orkney scallops (£26) with cauliflower purée, roasted cauliflower and caper dressing which arrived plated meticulously. The sauce was creamy and had a perfect consistency, offering a silky blanket for the sweet and silky scallops to lay on. My date picked the braised short rib (£23) with seasonal vegetables and farro risotto which she attested melted in her mouth.

Sette Knightsbridge Restaurant Review | DesignMyNightInteriors to make you swoon

Wine is not my forte and while my friend absolutely loves a glass of red, we decided to stay on the cocktail path that evening, sinking our new favourite margarita. However, I veered ever so slightly to dabble in the Il Bandito (£18), made with mezcal, red chilli flakes, Cointreau, lime and donning a black lava salt rim. Smoky and spicy, it was the type of tipple that you could feel immediately up your nostrils. I loved it though, as I have quite a high spice tolerance. It offered the same oomph as a picante but without the sweetness of the agave to level it off.

On to mains leading to double trouble in the fish department as we both went for the black cod (£44 each) with caramelised fennel and concentrated tomatoes. Presented on top of a splayed fennel and a tomato that resembled a petal, the cod was incredibly flakey and soft. It fell apart as soon as my fork grazed its crispy skin and the sauce had the texture of velvet. I was pleased with my choice considering its lightness, with the knowledge that dessert was undoubtedly on its way.

Sette Italian Restaurant | DesignMyNightI've got my heart Sette on you: we couldn't resist the cheesecake.

We both entered Sette having already decided on our final course before the starters arrived: NYC cheesecake (£12 each) with mixed berries. Two creamy triangles were brought out drizzled with ruby red fruit and surrounded by two spirals of whipped cream. While I inhaled my piece, we both agreed that it wasn’t as tangy as we’d hoped. The middle felt like it lacked a little flavour, which isn’t to say it was bad, but it perhaps wasn’t up to the high expectations we had set for a restaurant whipping up New York Italian cuisine. Nonetheless, I wolfed down mine and almost finished my friends's too.

The DesignMyNight Digest:

Did this restaurant Sette the bar for my next meal out? Yes. I loved the presentation of the dishes and portion sizes. The flavours of the fish dishes were divine, regardless of my personal cheesecake preference, and the cocktails outshone all else. However, every time we wanted to go to the loo we had to take a lift downstairs and, while fun the first time, the novelty soon wore off once we’d broken the seal. It was only a slight inconvenience to an overall wonderful evening. 

  💰 The damage: £251 for two, excluding service charge.

  📍  The location: 4 Knightsbridge Green, SW1X 7QA.

  👌 Perfect for: A cocktail date or a business meal.

 ⭐ Need to know: The vibe is quite formal, so maybe not the spot for your new pair of jeans.


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