Food & Drink

Rustic Italian in a not-so-rustic room

Despite sounding remarkably similar to what Italians call Nigella Lawson, Cucina Asellina's actually a "rustic Italian" joint from the STK folks, slapped right next door in the far-from-rustic 5-star ME hotel in Covent Garden.The luxuriously appointed dining room sports marble floors & a central "wine wall" orbited by leather banquettes & huge circular wood tables, setting the stage for an increase in your own circumference. … And here's how: steak, here served tagliata-style (sliced into hunks) w/ caramelised onions & winter vegetables, with further options like suckling pig pizza, grilled prawns w/ blueberries, or a pile of uber-simple pasta w/ pomodoro, basil, and square spaghetti, which clearly isn't served cool.But the drinks are, like the rum/ vermouth/ lemon Vesuvio, or this signature vodka/ limoncello/ raspberry concoction called the Signora Asellina -- what they call Nigella when she's out of the kitchen.