Essenza

4.5
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183 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Italian

Top tags:

Casual
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.

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1,000-Point Tables

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Sun 12:00PM - 11:00PM
Mon 3:00PM - 11:00PM
Tue - Fri 3:00PM - 6:30PM
Sat 12:00PM - 6:30PM

What 183 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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PH
Nashville
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

All you would expect from a well established Italian restaurant. Lunch for five old friends was fine.

A
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Comida en familia muy agradable, destacar la atención de Juan Carlos el camarero

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C
London
10 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Italian near home

OT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Even though we had a late reservation, they accommodated all of our requests and were very pleasant and friendly. The food was excellent! Would definitely eat here again.

s
London
1 review
Dined on 22 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service! They prepared a nice birthday song with dessert for my husbands birthday.

SB
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as usual
A favorite when in London

A
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 17 April 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful meal in a cozy spot in Notting Hill. The staff was very friendly, and they even re-made a pasta for me to cater to my dietary needs! Both the pasta and the fish were fresh and delicious. We will definitely try to get back soon - thank you all so much!

N
London
15 reviews
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Service greatly fluctuates - pretty disappointing this time

m
London
2 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent fresh ingredients expertly prepared. Intimate small bistro ambiance, quiet enough for our whole party to be able to chat together without shouting — overall wonderful place.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing!!

NB
London
11 reviews
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect Sunday Night Dinner, the service was great, the meal excellent. A true Neighbourhood gem and always a reliable Italian with a solid wine list and excellent specials.

BG
London
17 reviews
Dined on 29 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food. Great location!

DO
London
2 reviews
Dined on 26 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely neighbourhood restaurant. Start with the Rosemary crisp bread which is fantastic. Th past was amazing and we enjoyed some lovey wine.

M
London
21 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great local restaurant with an authentic, quality vibe. Restaurant was almost full on a Monday night! However, this did mean starters were a little slow but the mains were quicker and the food itself was great. The staff were friendly too. I would recommend :)

SB
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on 11 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as usual. A favorite always when we are in London!

T
London
33 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

This is a difficult review to write because basically the restaurant didn't do anything wrong. I think the fault is mine because I was led by the staff rather than looking at the menu - for example, I asked for a glass of dry white wine, perhaps a Sauvignon. He recommended a Gavi, which was indeed very nice, and so it should have been for £12.50 a glass (which I only realised when I received the bill). He explained that porcini mushrooms were the special of the day. Looking at the menu, I saw a pasta dish with mushrooms and bacon for £14.50 so I asked if I could have that with the porcinis. That turned up on my bill for £25. So yes, I had a perfectly pleasant lunch with my business colleague - but I was genuinely gobsmacked to get a bill for just under £130!

QP
London
6 reviews
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food and lovely atmosphere. We had a lovely intimate dinner whilst still enjoying the buzz.

R
London
2 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cozy...great food..friendly service..nice feel ambiance in a quiet neighborhood. Fresh and tasty food, reasonably priced.

LI
London
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely restaurant with great food and great service. Italian owner and run. Here was a constant stream of delivery drivers collecting take out which was not distracting but does speak to the quality of the food.

C
London
1 review
Dined on 19 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, authentic Italian food that is so tasty. Fresh ingredients and excellent value for money. Will definitely go back!

N
London
15 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic Italian food

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I have eaten here a few times and the food is outstanding every time

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. Don’t forget to try their ossobuco.

T
London
9 reviews
Dined on 9 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best italian restaurant in Nottg Hill

M
Tahoe
53 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Meh! Was hoping for something a little more exciting.... we were one of two tables being served... the waiters keep making take out bags... seems more like a reliable neighborhood take out place... nothing special.

SC
London
14 reviews
Dined on 28 April 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great service and great food. Very reliable and always enjoyable.

DR
London
3 reviews
Dined on 15 April 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good all round Italian.

HF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 16 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the most authentic Italian restaurants in London. Like stepping in to a back street in Rome, with specialities from all around Italy.

CM
London
6 reviews
Dined on 26 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good food and excellent service in a lovely environment

S
London
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Good traditional Italian food and fab service with knowledgeable staff.. very helpful.
However place can get noisy at times..

DJ
London
6 reviews
Dined on 16 December 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Very friendly service and delicious food, well cooked, not fussy, very tasty, fresh ingredients. Thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Rather cramped sitting and decor rather tired.
I would definitely go back and would recommend for everyday dining . Not cheap.

AF
London
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food, service and value were excellent. The ambience was normal, if it was an amazingly decorated place it would be perfect.

L
London
50 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Not very exciting food and very expensive for what we ate and drank

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Attentive staff and authentic food. A great place to take my parents for a quiet dinner.

OT
Dorset
3 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The staff kindly stayed on for us (arrived 23:00). Very good service and quality of food was excellent. Nice cosy ambiance. Thought price for wine was a bit excessive although this is London. 12.5% service charge added to bill, didn't notice until I had left.

SW
London
4 reviews
Dined on 21 August 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been going to Essenza for over a decade probably 2-3 times a month and even though we now live 20 mins drive away we keep coming back for the good Italian food, great wine and warm welcome - they're even nice to our kids if we bring them!

OT
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem!

ED
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This restaurant is a favorite of ours for many years now. The staff is very service oriented, and they always remember us.
The food is excellent, although I would rate their seafood the best.
Located in a nice quiet street, away from the traffic and noise of Central London.
A very good place to take friends and have a very enjoyable lunch or dinner.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2017
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 2

Excellent fresh food- average service

B
London
3 reviews
Dined on 30 May 2017
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Tricky review to write... the food is nice, the atmosphere is cozy, but considering the sister restaurants level this one is a bit disappointing. The service felt a bit rushed, and the price are a bit high for the area and compared to other good Italians you can find.
If the price were 20% lower I'd recommend it, but for mains in the mid-20s and starters in the low teens there are better choices. Or, if the service was better, friendlier, it would work.