Where: On Drummond Street: one of the few non-Indian grub spots of the strip.
What: An old-skool, family-run Italian joint, it dishes up substantial plates of pasta and mahoosive club sandwiches during the lunchtime sitting (12-3:30pm).
How old-skool? It served its first meal in 1984, and we spent our lunch getting serenaded by a cumbersome four-tier CD player.
Why: A hefty plate of wide-tubed rigatoni arrived coated in a subtle sweet tomato sauce. Laced with courgette, sweetcorn, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan, it was a formidable feast for £6.50. It also came with a little side salad topped with artichoke and sundried tomatoes – compensation for the carb overload.
The atmosphere is no-frills but warm. Three generations of an Italian family spew across a couple of corner tables on our visit, chatting away with the staff, pumping the place with energy.
Notes: Brizzi’s real charm lies in the basement restaurant. It’s not open for lunch though, so the best you can do is grab a glimpse of its yellow-walled, would-be-candle-lit quaintness en route to the loo. The dinner menu is a lot more extensive as well, with pizza and pasta offerings.
Don’t: Say we didn’t warn you about how much nicer the basement is.
Main image: Dan Hall