Review: Franco’s St James’

Franco’s in St James’ is one of London’s oldest Italian restaurants. Located at the end of Jermyn Street, steps away from the Ritz Hotel, this restaurant has been serving the St James’ crowd for decades.

Francos is open for all-day dining from power breakfasts through lunch to dinners. In warmer months, you can opt for an alfresco table outside.

As you enter, you will find the more casual café-bar and in the next dining room, it is dressed for more formal dining with the expected white table cloths.

Although, they no longer have a strict dress code, shorts and open-toed shoes are not allowed. 

Jason Momoa at Francos
Jason Momoa at Francos

Good thing, Jason Momoa was wearing his fancy red boots when he dined here. 

Jason Momoa's red boots at Francos
Jason Momoa’s red boots

Vegan and Vegetarian Italian Menu

Franco’s have launched a menu just for vegetarians and vegans, with gluten-free options too. This is not a truncated menu of dishes taken from the main menu. This menu was designed by Head Chef, Stefano Turconi so that vegetarian guests can have a complete menu choice and have the same experience as other diners.

Along with the new menu, they have a selection of organic and biodynamic vegan wines too.

From the new menu, I had the Burrata with roasted butternut squash and almonds. Other choices include a beetroot carpaccio, a mixed grilled vegetable platter or a choice of soup.

Burrata with roasted butternut squash
Burrata with roasted butternut squash

To match these dishes, we had a bottle of Greco Bianco, Azienda Agricola Nasciri 2018, an organic and biodynamic wine from Calabria. This amber-coloured wine has a complex aroma, fresh and balanced with a touch of acidity.

 Greco Bianco Organic Wine
Greco Bianco Organic Bio-Dynamic Wine

For the next course, you have a choice of pasta (including glute free), risotto and soups.Was tempted by the Castlemagno cheese and black truffle risotto but settled for the Chestnut Tagliatelle with mixed mushrooms. A rich, meaty mushroom ragu coated the slightly sweet chestnut pasta.

Chestnut Tagliatelle with mixed mushrooms
Chestnut Tagliatelle with mixed mushrooms

Just because we knew they would do it well, a side of courgette fries to share.

When a Classic Tiramisu is on the menu, it is a must. They did not disappoint with an elegant single portion of unctuousness. Rich mascarpone balanced with that bitter espresso hit from the sponge.

Classic tiramisu
Classic tiramisu

The others ordered a lemon tart and we all had a taste of their highly recommended Amaretto Creme Brulee with almond tuille.

Amaretto Creme Brulee with almond tuille
Amaretto Creme Brulee with almond tuille

Franco’s is a place where regulars return for the reliable classics and new fans will be bowled over by their well executed modern takes on Italian food. Definitely a place to revisit again soon.

Franco’s St James’
61 Jermyn Street
Tel: 0207 499 2211

EatCookExplore was a guest of Franco’s.


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