Whether you are looking to kick start your new year’s healthy eating regime, or just want to rid your body of its unwanted toxins, a detox diet is a great step in the right direction. With the added benefit of decreasing cellulite, improving your skin, and the prospect of banishing bloating forever, it is no wonder many are trying their hand at the detox diet.
However, if you’re lacking in the culinary skills, or just fancy a night off cooking, why not head down to Amico Bio, London’s only vegetarian organic restaurant, situated in the heart of London’s Square Mile. If healthy eating and detoxifying is top of your agenda for 2011, then do your taste buds a favour and visit this acclaimed Italian vegetarian restaurant. Welcoming, cosy, and offering all the warmth of a typical Italian trattoria, this is one restaurant not to be missed.
Italian chef Pasquale Amico, who has trained at multi Michelin star winning restaurants in Italy and the UK, prides himself on cooking delicious healthy food all year round. The ex-Locanda Locatelli head chef is a whizz at putting together balanced, great-tasting menus of simple, natural ingredients that won’t damage your waistline.
Non-vegetarians will be impressed too by a beautifully balanced and terrific value menu that shows off the superb organic produce brought over from Amico’s family farm in Campania. No dull, ‘second best’ vegetarian options here – just freshly made, original and seasonal Italian cooking that just happens to be vegetarian. Recently becoming a vegetarian himself, Pasquale says “you don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat vegetarian, and Italian cuisine offers come of the best meat-free dishes”.
On my recent visit, I was fortunate enough to try the special detox menu, which I found to be very tasty and surprisingly quite filling, but without the uncomfortable “time to undo the belt buckle” feeling.
Detoxing the Amico way begins with a freshly squeezed glass of orange and carrot juice which, for me, took a little getting used to at first, but after a few hearty sips it went down a treat and was very refreshing. This is followed by a choice of Minestrone or Insalata di Patate, Spinaci, Ravanelli e Finocchi (Salad of Potatoes, Spinach, Red Radish and Fennel), I had the latter. The flavours in the salad were wonderful, the fennel was very complimentary to the other ingredients, and even though there was no meat on the plate, I found I was filled adequately by the meal. Dessert comprised of baked ‘Annurca’ Apple, accompanied by a choice of tea or coffee – decaffeinated too, if you prefer! I was really impressed with the food, the service, and the staff, and most importantly, the price! The entire menu costs just £13.50 per person.
With valentine’s day round the corner, if you’re looking for somewhere to take your loved one for a special meal, Amico Bio have also devised a valentines menu comprising of a 4 course meal at £30.00 – including a glass of organic prosecco and tea or coffee in the price. Vegan and gluten-free options are also available, while the wine list – all organic and vegetarian, also includes some vegan choices.
Amico Bio is open from Monday to Friday, from noon to 10.30pm and on Saturday from 5pm to 10.30pm. To make a reservation at Amico Bio, please call the restaurant on 020 7600 7778. Amico Bio, 44 Cloth Fair, London, EC1A 7JQ, www.amicobio.co.uk
Vegetarian Valentine’s Day Menu
Glass of Prosecco
Insalata di Arance, Finocchi e Rucola
Salad of Oranges, Fennel and Rockets
Tortino di Patate, Funghi e Formaggio
Potato Cake with Mushrooms and Cheese
Zuppa di Fave Secche Pugliesi Pane al Finocchietto
Dry Broad Beans Soup With Homemade Fennel Seeds Bread
Ravioli Ripieni ai Broccoli, Salsa di Patate e Menta
Ravioli Filled With Broccoli, Potato and Mint Sauce
Seitan Alla Veneziana
Pan-fried Strips of Seitan with Onion and Sage
Parmiggiana di Melanzane
Aubergines and Tomato Bake
Torta al Cioccolato
Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
Tea or Coffee
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.