Review: Paper Moon – An Italian Gem in the Heart of London

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London -Since its inception in Milan in 1977, Paper Moon has established itself as a beacon of Italian culinary

excellence. The London branch, which opened its doors in October 2023, swiftly garnered acclaim as one of the city’s most beloved Italian restaurants. Nestled discreetly within the historic Old War Office building, Paper

Moon offers a dining experience that seamlessly blends sophistication, charm, and authentic Italian flavors.
Ambiance and Decor

Upon entering through the spectacular foyer and hallways of the Old War Office, guests are welcomed into an intimate and luxurious space. The understated elegance of Paper Moon is highlighted by a tasteful decor featuring olive trees and monochrome photographs of pop culture icons. The interior design, masterminded by studio AB Concept, employs a terracotta and neutral palette complemented by travertine marble, creating a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of London’s streets. A striking feature is the opulent Antolini marble bar, specially crafted in Italy, which serves as a focal point of the restaurant.

Culinary Delights

The culinary journey at Paper Moon is orchestrated by Executive Chef Leonardo Pieri Buti and his talented team.
The menu is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Italy, offering a mix of classic Milanese dishes and signature recipes from various regions.

**Antipasti:** The dining experience begins with delectable starters such as the Battuto Di Manzo—a luxurious beef tartare accompanied by burrata, sweet and sour red Tropea onion, shaved black truffle, and toasted hazelnuts. Another highlight is the Parmigiana, a timeless blend of aubergine, tomato, and mozzarella, finished with fresh basil and parmesan.

**Primi and Secondi:** The pasta offerings are a celebration of Italy’s diverse cuisine. Standouts include Chitarra with baby squid, mussels, clams, and chili, as well as the namesake Pappardelle Paper Moon, a rich combination of bacon, tomato, and cream. The menu also features exquisite main courses such as Coda di Rospo, grilled monkfish served with Jerusalem artichoke cream and asparagus, and the Milanese classic Ossobuco di Vitello, braised veal shank paired with saffron risotto.

**Pizze:** The pizza selection is equally enticing, with traditional choices like Quattro Formaggi and a London-exclusive Pizza OWO, featuring a sweet cherry tomato base, mozzarella, spicy salami, and fresh chili.

**Dolci:** No Italian meal is complete without dessert, and Paper Moon delivers with traditional favorites such as Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, and Semifreddo al Torrone, providing a perfect sweet finale to the dining experience.

Beverages

The wine list at Paper Moon is a carefully curated selection showcasing Italian grapes from various regions, perfectly complementing the rich flavors of the menu. The sophisticated cocktail menu features innovative creations such as the light and floral Petalo Rosso, the smoky Fumo di Passione, and the fresh and fruity Spritz Fruttato, ideal for enjoying at the bar.

Dining Experience

Paper Moon offers a variety of dining settings, including an 80-cover main dining area, several private dining rooms, and a beautiful outdoor courtyard that captures the essence of la dolce vita. The restaurant’s ambiance, combined with its exceptional culinary offerings, makes it a perfect venue for any dining occasion, from intimate dinners to celebratory gatherings.

Paper Moon in London stands out as a haven of authentic Italian cuisine, enveloped in an atmosphere of understated elegance and charm. With its impeccable service, exquisite menu, and beautifully designed interiors, it has quickly become a favorite among London’s dining enthusiasts. Whether you are a connoisseur of Italian cuisine or simply seeking a memorable dining experience, Paper Moon promises to deliver a taste of Italy’s rich culinary heritage right in the heart of London.

Here what Michele Primicere,the General Manager at Paper Moon London in the OWO, a Raffles Hotel has to say about a dining experience at Paper Moon.

Can you tell us about the history and concept behind Paper Moon Italian restaurant?
The Paper Moon story began back in 1977, when the original restaurant opened in the heart of Milan’s fashion district. Helmed by Pio Galligani and his wife Enrica Del Rosso, the mission was to create somewhere which offered ‘good value honest Italian cuisine, in a relaxed congenial environment’ – inspired, in part, by the 1973 film of the same name.

What sets Paper Moon apart from other Italian restaurants in the area?
We are not pretentious, yet we deliver great results in the height of understated luxury.

How would you describe the ambiance and atmosphere of the restaurant?
In three words; classy, relaxed and iconic

What are some of the signature dishes or specialties that customers rave about?
Milanese definitely, it is the ultimate Italian classic. We find diners are also very fond of the Parpadelle Paper Moon. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to list the finest dishes and not include the Pannacotta, it is the best way to end your meal at Paper Moon.

Can you share any unique or standout features of the menu?
The pizza is probably one of the best in London, especially the Paper Moon Special, which doesn’t come as you would expect…

How does the restaurant incorporate Italian culinary traditions into its dishes?
We do not reinvent the wheel, Paper Moon sticks to tradition with regards to the taste and practice that goes into creating each dish on the menu. We have a skilled team, from the kitchen to the bar to the restaurant floor who are critical in achieving and maintaining Italian culinary traditions.

What efforts does Paper Moon make in sourcing fresh, high-quality ingredients?

We establish our relationships with our suppliers over time. There is great trust built from both sides. We are constantly feeding back to our suppliers to make sure we are well looked after, but equally they trust us to use their produce in the best possible way to create intricate and delicious dishes. Everything served at Paper Moon is cooked to order, this is to minimise on waste and keep our stock to a minimum. We prioritise freshness of products and rotation of dishes and produce on the menu, which is only possible to achieve this way.

How does the restaurant accommodate dietary restrictions or preferences?
With an extensive menu such as ours, accommodating dietary requirements is easy, we will always go the extra mile to make sure our guests are comfortable and have the best possible experience and food.

Can you describe the level of service guests can expect when dining at Paper Moon?
Personalised and attentive. Friendly and relaxed. Humble and knowledgeable.
https://www.papermoonrestaurants.com/paper-moon-london

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Francesca Lombardo is a freelance journalist. She holds a Master's degree in journalism from the LCC of London and her articles has been published by the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, The Herald, Sunday Express, Daily Express, Irish Independent, The Sunday Business Post, A Place in the Sun, Ryanair Magazine, Easyjet Magazine, CNBC magazine, Voyager magazine, Portugal Magazine, Travel Trade Gazette, House Hunter in the sun, Homes Worldwide and to Italian outlets, Repubblica, D Repubblica, L'Espresso, Il Venerdì, Vogue, Vogue Uomo, Vogue Casa, GQ, Il Sole 24 Ore, F Magazine, TU Style, La Stampa, "A", Gioia. Francesca Lombardo has trained at the business desks of the Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Daily Express. She has authored a children's book series titled Beatrice and the London Bus. website: www.francescalombardo.net

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