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nothing more comforting that traditional, home-style cooking especially in the depths of mid-winter. Neighbourhood Italian Elistano in Chelsea does just that, providing hearty traditional meals to the locals in SW3.

A relaxed atmosphere and warm welcome await here, with enthusiastic, engaging staff ready to make you feel right at home. The website advertises Elistano as ‘Chelsea’s finest Italian restaurant’ and in truth, this claim maybe a little adventurous, we’d say this charming trattoria, was better placed serving the local community than serious foodies.

After kicking off with some olives and very fresh bread, our starters arrived in the form of bruschetta, and crab and prawns on toasted ciabatta. The bruschetta was fresh ciabatta rather than the usual toasted presentation, topped with mozzarella, tomato and basil. Not quite what we were expecting, but perfectly pleasant. The crab was fairly strong and dominated the prawns, but was enjoyable and set us up perfectly for our main course.

Lasagne is the king of comfort food. Rich, creamy and smothered in cheese, it’s impossible to get wrong. Served in a generous dish that left us feeling stuffed. The veal escalope was very good too, a large, flattened tender cut breaded and fried, served alongside tasty new potatoes which had been liberally doused with garlic and rosemary. This is cuisine which is never going to win awards, but shiny trophies should not be important to chefs, empty plates are the best compliments we can give.

Perhaps the highlight for us were the desserts, creamy pannacotta with caramel and chocolate ice cream and the chocolate bombe gave us a sugar rush and stopped us crashing after a carb-heavy meal. Elistano has its charms, it’s proper old fashioned Italian home cooking like mama used to make. Don’t be taken in by the exaggerations on their website, but do drop in when you’re next in the hood.

25-27 Elyston Street, SW3 3NT