cook Jamie Oliver, he of the healthy school food campaign, owns dozens of British restaurants catering to fried fish and chips, hamburgers, and here, pasta. Unassailably healthy it may not be, but ingredients are thoughtfully sourced, appetizers are served on long wooden paddles called “antipasti planks,” and pasta is made fresh on the premises. The casual menu is enormous and rangy enough to please the whole family (pastas, burgers, mains), and while the upstairs dining area is frenetic and loud, the booths downstairs impart a more soothing, vaulted feel. Considering the size of the menu, it does a respectable job of forging delicious, honest food. Naturally, there’s a gift shop for Oliver-branded swag—including those awkward planks. Try to beat the swarm by arriving before 5:30pm.
11 Upper St Martin’s Lane, WC2
Our Rating Neighborhood Covent Garden & the Strand Hours Mon–Sat noon–11:30pm, Sun noon–10:30pm Transportation Tube: Leicester Square Phone 020/3326-6390 Prices Pasta £7–£13, mains £11–£20 Cuisine Type Italian Web site Jamie’s Italian
Map11 Upper St Martin’s Lane WC2 London
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