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Essenza

Essenza Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.essenza.co.uk/
  • Phone: 0207 792 1066
  • Hours of Operation: Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from Essenza
It’s no great leap to surmise that Essenza means 'essence' in Italian. What you get in this smart, intimate neighbourhood trattoria is the essence of fresh, seasonal, Italian cooking. This boxy little spot is simply trendy, with persimmon banquettes, white table cloths, wood chairs, a smart little bar, and it is packed to the gills with similarly smart and trendy Notting Hill locals who all seem to know the waiters and each other. The menu roams the regions, featuring excellent standards like starter of caprese or beef carpaccio, home made pastas like fettuccine with porcini mushrooms and bacon sauce, main course of grilled selection of shellfish, and dessert of chocolate and coffee tiramisu. The mostly Italian wine list features a couple of nice grappas, too. Express Business Lunch and thoughtful Children’s Menu are welcome extras.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "Mediocre neighbourhood restaubnot ner early as good as sister places on same street"
    dined on 30/06/2014
  • "Lunch with an old colleague. Very good food, attentive service. Warm, sunny day - fine al fresco experience"
    dined on 12/06/2014
  • "Went for a casual meal out without the whole three-course shindig. The pastas are very fresh and delightful (and hearty!) and the desserts are also tasty."
    dined on 31/05/2014
  • "If you are near Portabello, you should try this place. Small, family run, but an above average wine list and great food. One of the best veal Marsala I have ever had. It is small and tough to walk through, so not recommended for large groups (over 6). I would go back. "
    dined on 30/05/2014
  • "Food was good _ we all had pasta but terribly overpriced."
    dined on 29/04/2014
  • "Very good Italian restaurant that does excellent fish. Wait staff are super friendly and very kid friendly. We will become regulars!"
    dined on 27/04/2014
  • "I go regularly even though I live in the USA. Great Italian ambiance and the Dover Sole is fantastic . Very intimate atmosphere"
    dined on 26/04/2014
  • "One of the few Italian restaurant serving real Italian dishes, so would recommend the experience to whoever want to try authentic italian food (no penne Alfredo yay!). But I am not sure £13.70 is a fair price to pay for a Bolognese, and the £75 bill for two (for two pasta dishes, one starter to share, and house wine) felt a bit too much. It's Notting Hill prices I suppose, but still..."
    dined on 28/03/2014
  • "Essenza is a small family run restaurant which holds approx. 30 people and give a feeling of intimacy with its low lights and simple decoration. I love the relaxed feel of Essenza - like a comfortable dining room in a friends home with a welcoming smile and a feeling that you have known the staff for years. The food is amazing and have a great selection of wines. I have been back several times since. I recommend it to all my friends."
    dined on 31/12/2013
  • "I am not going that often as the menu has not changed for more than 3 years now... "
    dined on 01/10/2013
  • "This Italian is a reliable choice for lovely quality food with especially great fish & veal choices. Not the average neighbourhood pasta place for sure and I also find it too pricey to go more regularly, but no question this is a good chef which makes us want to return!"
    dined on 14/08/2013
  • "We were looking for a great Notting Hill neighborhood dining experience with our two Italian food-loving teenagers and Essenza really filled the bill. After a brief wait for our table, we entered a small but lively dining room. Lots of animated discussions going on around us but we soon adjusted to the noise level. Attentive wait staff and genuine Italian menu. Moderately priced wine selection. Everyone chose a pasta dish and the were all excellent. Great desserts as well. Good neighborhood / local feel with very few tourists."
    dined on 25/06/2013
  • "We celebrated Grandma and two granddaughters, all of whom have their birthdays between May 10 and 22. We had a marvelous evening with excellent food and drinks that pleased everybody! We will be back!! Cheers, Carl"
    dined on 10/05/2013
  • "A good Italian restaurant. Service could have been a little friendlier, but the food was tasty and fairly priced. Happy to return there, although it wouldn't be top of my fine dining League table."
    dined on 14/01/2013
  • "Perfectly fine restaurant if you’re hungry; nothing to rave to friends about though and overpriced. Rather nondescript."
    dined on 05/12/2012
  • "Enjoyed lunch here, although tuna was done medium well rather than rare, it was changed very graciously and quickly."
    dined on 14/10/2012
  • "This place is extremely over priced for what it is (generic Italian food with bad service). I couldn't tell if the poor service was down to an ineffective kitchen or the personnel serving the food but it was diabolical. Although perfectly friendly people, our food was brought ill-timed (e.g. my antipasto was brought within minutes whereas my dining companion had to wait 20 minutes for his risotto). It's not rocket science, just wait for the risotto to be ready and then bring my antipasto at the same time. Because he was so hungry when my antipasto arrived he decided to order an antipasto which then didn't arrive until after his risotto which totally defeated the point and which we had to inquire about 3 times before they brought it."
    dined on 08/09/2012
  • "Excellent service and the food was gorgeous.wine extraordinarily good"
    dined on 12/08/2012
  • "We live in the USA and have a flat in London. We have been there probably 20 times and the food and ambiencebid always terrific. It is intimate and once we took over the restaurant for a party which too was excellent."
    dined on 04/08/2012
  • "My partner and I love going out for food and are always keen to try new places. It was a birthday dinner to be celebrated with a few friends. As Essenza is sponsored on google, we thought we'd give it a go. It took 20 minutes to be seated to our booked table with one chair missing and two places not laid up. The waiters were friendly no doubt, however it took up to half an hour for courses to come out, we had a three course meal, spending most of the time waiting. The deserts came out at different times, when the final desert came out it was not the desert ordered. More so, plates were cleared when people were still eating. The food was delightful but don't expect an A* in time keeping or observational skills."
    dined on 07/07/2012
  • "Essenza, in Notting Hill Gate London, is a very pleasant restaurant (although for people with back problems the chairs aren't the most comfortable). My friend had a side salad for a starter, and I had the carpaccio of beef. We both enjoyed our starters. My tuna and my friend's seabass were also good. We enjoyed our red wine and our coffees to follow. I would recommend Essenza as a very pleasant, although not special, restaurant."
    dined on 01/04/2012
  • "Good meal at Essenza, near Ladbroke Grove. Starters and fish excellent, slight disappointment with pasta at this price point. Wines superb - short winelist but both we tried were excellent. Not cheap and on a Friday night either and exciting buzz or rather noisy depending on your point of view."
    dined on 24/02/2012
  • "A very pleasant little restaurant with a nice cosy atmosphere and good service. Menu choice is typical for an italian restaurant of its type but broad enough in choice. Food was good but not excellent. Would go again - very decent value."
    dined on 27/01/2012
  • "White truffle pasta special - rare, but brilliant!"
    dined on 26/11/2011
  • "Excellent meal at Essenza in Notting Hill Gate last night. Despite being full the service was also first class. It consistently lives up to it's reputation as one of London's finest neighbourhood Italian restaurants, Try the veal in a cream and mushroom sauce--delicious."
    dined on 24/11/2011
  • "Essenza in Kensington Park Road is a stylish, romantic Italian restaurant. This was our second visit and it didn't disappoint. The service was excellent - attentive, helpful, warm and friendly. The food was also really good - great seafood and pasta dishes (though the spinach side was not very nice as it tasted more like old cabbage!). At £120 for two, without wine it's not exactly cheap but it is very nice and overall it was a lovely evening. Recommended."
    dined on 06/08/2011
  • "Excellent meal again at Essenza this week. Hard to beat as a neighbourhood Italian. Consistently great food, warm atmosphere and first class service. Strongly recommend the ossobuco."
    dined on 20/07/2011
  • "Great place, fairly priced, good atmosphere and the people are authentitically italian"
    dined on 12/05/2011
  • "Essenza London- great place but watch time of arrival, we were 15mins late and eventually sat down 45 mins later although they were very generous with the proseco"
    dined on 22/03/2011
  • "Essenza is a very reliable and comfortable Italian restaurant where the staff make you feel welcome and the food makes you feel good."
    dined on 21/03/2011
  • "I am a great fan of Essenza in Notting Hill Gate but unfortunately they didn't live up to expectations on Friday evening. Shame because I had given them a big build up to our American guests! Whilst the Osso Bucco was great their speciality Veal in a cream and mushroom sauce (too may peas!)was disappointing. Atmosphere was buzzing and service excellent. Everybody has an off day!"
    dined on 11/03/2011
  • "Good, reliable Italian food in a location quite close to the hubbub of Portobello Markets. Have the bruschetta!"
    dined on 12/02/2011
  • "Went to Essenza last night in Notting Hill, what a fabulous meal. Place is buzzing, great Italian staff who really know what they are doing, packed and loud, must reserve, very popular place with the locals. Calamari starter was excellent, shared one between 2 people and was ample. Main of spaghetti with half a lobster was excellent, great flavours, perfect portion size. oh and a divine bottle of Amaroni to wash it all down. Will definitely be back, think I've found my new favourite Italian."
    dined on 27/11/2010
  • "Really lovely and relaxed meal with friends at Essenza!"
    dined on 13/09/2010
  • "Having eaten in its sister restaurants, Osteria Basilico & Mediterraneo, I was very much looking forward to Essenza. Two doors down from E&O in a bustling location, Essenza is a small little Italian joint that will not let you down. We all ordered something different and we all agreed that the food was delicious (mine was the seabass- a must try). The staff were very friendly & the restaurant was full creating a buzzy environment. They also have the best tiramisu I have tasted outside of Italy."
    dined on 11/09/2010
  • "Essenza in Kensigton park road, like the word prefer the sustance to the image delivering excellent tasty food at reasonable price. Nice clean environment, just a little cramped"
    dined on 08/09/2010
  • "Delighted to have found a decent Italian in Notting Hill amongst the serial disappointments in London. Like many of its competitors however, the menu was perhaps a touch on the large side - I would have preferred a variable specials menu rather than the full catalogue of Italian classics. That said the specials themselves were delicious: fresh pasta, fresh ingredients as the cuisine was intended. Our mains from la carte took a few suspicious seconds to prepare! Strongly recommended nonetheless."
    dined on 01/09/2010
  • "we a little corporate dinner and food and service were great! ..second time..second success!"
    dined on 26/08/2010
  • "We went to Essenza for lunch on a Friday - it was us and one other table when we arrived (1.30) so a little lacking in atmosphere but picked up a bit later. THe food was nice although portions absolutely massive...I had bruschetta to start which would have been enough for a main. The risotto I had was nice if a little stodgy and my friend ravioli was piled high with too much sauce which was a little offputting. NIce though and would consider going again but in no major rush"
    dined on 20/08/2010
  • "Essenza was buzzy with a grest atmosphere. The food was delightful as was the service."
    dined on 16/06/2010