Stepping into Macellaio, there is a buzzy ground floor area with a butchers block and bar. Huge dinosaur bones hang in the window.
I have no idea what I did to offend my hosts but upon arrival I was ushered downstairs to the basement which had a strong pissy aroma. The Mouse couldn't smell it but it was DEFINITELY there.
I knew I would acclimatise eventually, but I couldn't help but feel that this was going totally ruin the whole bloody evening.
We started with a selection of cured meats and tartares. I don't know if the more spartan, Italian one, Battuta all'Albese, was supposed to overshadow the French version on account of some bovine patriotism from the proprietors. However it was totally eclipsed.
Sliced lard with honey and walnuts was a novel treat, worlds away from the slabs of fat I dipped in paprika and bravely swallowed in Kiev months earlier.
You order your Northern Italian Fassona steak by the kilo. With starters and wine, it's punishingly expensive. But likely the best steak I've had in London.
The massive T-bones are presented for your inspection before they hit the grill. Served medium-rare, and sprinkled with coarse rock salt, the steak has a perfect combination of tender and char.
Rather misleadingly, the steak is served surrounded by crispy grizzle. Thinking it might make for a satisfying snack I popped it in my mouth. I chewed on that raw walrus blubber and tried not to disgust our dinner companions by ducking under the table and regurgitating the mess into a napkin. It stayed in my pocket for 50 minutes before I was able to dispose of it. It was clearly not meant to be consumed.
Sadly the sides weren't much to speak of. The frites were bulemic chips, and the spinach was drowned and soulless.
If you're going, sit upstairs, forgo the starters, and share a kilo of meat.