Review: Sette – 'The Fashion-Forward Bulgari Hotel's Restaurant Is A Hangout For Models And Celebrities'
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Review: Sette – ‘The Fashion-Forward Bulgari Hotel’s Restaurant Is A Hangout For Models And Celebrities’

Inside Sette by Scarpetta

The fashion-forward Bulgari hotel’s restaurant is a hangout for models and celebrities. Tessa Dunthorne investigates the fuss around Sette – and finds the hype very deserved. 

Sette ‘Drips Cool’ – Reviewing The Bulgari Hotel’s Restaurant

Interiors at Sette, Bvlgari Hotel

When I enter Sette, I am early. I am sat at my table waiting for a friend to arrive, and I’ve just ordered a drink. It’s around then, in the limbo between seating and the arrival of my aperitif, that I notice that in the corner of the room is a large collection of models. Is collection the most appropriate collective noun? Pack of models? Shock of models? 

These models tell me something – not to my face, mind, as I certainly didn’t have the guts to approach these six-foot plus amazonian creatures – about Sette immediately, that I sort of already knew: this restaurant is cool. Not just a bit; no, it’s the kind of space that drips cool. No surprise that it’s favoured by the faces of fashion week (the links to fashion run deep, anyway, as this restaurant resides in the Bulgari hotel, of the eponymous luxury house). 

By the time my friend arrives, so has my drink. They’ve got a stunning menu of cocktails, all made in front of your eyes at a central bar, a 360-degree spaceship of a thing sat in the centre of the room. These interiors are incredible: low, sculptural lighting hangs overhead, with almost wall-to-wall mirrors and there’s an impressive glimpse into the wine cellar if you peer to the back of the room (this is where the models sit). 

Bvlgari hotel's Sette - cocktail

This interior design was pulled together by an international pairing of studios, using both stateside ​​Thomas Juul Hansen and the more local Jestico & Whiles. The restaurant itself is an import – Sette is by Scarpetta, a high luxury food familia that’s less chintzy trattoria as much sleek, urbanite gently-Italian concept dining. And you can certainly tell that it’s a bit Americana: it’s got that Manhattan-feel throughout, and the slick service you’d expect stateside. 

Speaking of service – while the concept may be Italian-style, the man who greets us and takes us through the menu was no imitation but the real deal. The guys running this place know their menu back and front and if there’s even a hint that you’re seeking advice, they’ll be quick to quiz you on what you tend to like, and then just like that you’ve got an order sorted for you. 

Sette's tomahawk steak

The knowledgeable Italian bloke tells us we must try the charred octopus and the burrata. The seafood here is particularly well-recommended – the menu occupies the intersection between Mediterranean diet and sashimi, a flashy fusion. He’s right, it turns out. The octopus is a proper coiled tentacle on a bed of artichokes and potatoes and it’s tender inside, not over-chewy. The pasta I try – one I have ordered outside his recommendation in a moment of reckless abandon – is a plate of orange duck on thick pappardelle, and it’s absolutely something special. It arrives with theatrics, too, housed in an upturned glass bowl and incredibly aromatic as this is lifted. 

Dessert is excellent. I order a gianduia chocolate, which is chocolate stretched with hazelnut butter, and which I’ve previously only tried in the form of those gold-foiled fancy Italian sweets. This is that, but bigger – and then served with stracciatella ice cream. It provides me a sense of giddy delight because it’s like the desserts you smear over your face as a child. 

Before I leave – face probably amuck with chocolate – I give one final glance over to the school of models to see what sits at their table. Did they share small plates? Nibble at the salads? I am delighted to see that they’ve decimated half the pasta menu, too. And there comes the dessert: indulgent dolce treats galore. 

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