Bolsheviks and penny-pinchers shield your eyes and block your ears: Locanda Locatelli is the sublime, Michelin starred Italian restaurant that deserves every bit of hype it gets.

Wednesday 28th December was my second visit and the No Man’s Land between Christmas and New Year made it much quieter and more pleasant than in mid-summer, when the noise and bustle tipped the balance from atmospheric to ever so slightly chaotic.

The evening began with crisp glass of rose – a breed of wine often sidelined by menus and drinkers. I decided to make use of the sommelier and the quality of the wine list – one of the best in London I have heard – to choose a decent one. The Rosamara Garda Classico Chiaretto was so good that I bought myself a bottle a couple of days later from another newly-opened, wonderful establishment: Vini Italiani. It is happily nestled in my fridge, waiting to be finished. I swam onto the  2005 Fumanelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico for the Red Wine portion of the evening. Fantastic, of course.

The menu changes regularly, has a substantial selection for lovers of fish and meat, as well as plenty to choose from for vegetarians. Needless to say, all the pasta is home-made and dishes yield up flavours and combinations that you are unlikely to get elsewhere.  Not a Carbonara or Bolognaise in sight. A particular pasta highlight was the Pumpkin and amaretti pasta parcels with butter and sage that was so outstanding it even had me in raptures and wishing I had ordered it myself – and I never ever eat pasta. (Not even as a student.)

Raw Artichoke Salad with Parmesan, lemon and oil – just one of the seductive antipasti.

The autumn salad is generous and packed with a winning combination of pomegranate, fennel, rocket, beetroot and heaps more. I’ll never be able to eat a salad in another restaurant again without disappointment.

Even the breadbasket and complimentary truffles, white chocolate marshmallows and amaretti biscuits served at the end are enough to write blogs about. I was still fantasizing about the salty foccacia dipped in olive oil the next day.

Or how about the pear and almond tart… or the Tiramisu – served in a martini glass, no less – which was fluffy but lacking none of the requisite alcohol kick. My dessert wine, the I Capitelli Passito Bianco was sweet and refreshing with none of the sickliness a lot of dessert wines can have, especially when consumed on top of a lot of food and red wine. Another glass, at least, could have been savoured without any problems at all. So light and fruity it would make a worthy accompaniment to breakfast, I’m sure.

What makes Locatelli so amazing is the love that goes into every dish, every glass of wine poured, each carefully chosen pairing of digestif and dessert. And that is what makes food taste good. Staff bend over backwards, without being sycophantic or suffocating: the usual alternative to the indifferent server.

It has gorgeous interior design and one very special painting  – a storm of blue oils and a cascade of light falling down onto Battersea Power Station and River Thames – which bedecks one wall. Locatelli is extremely well priced for the sheer quality you receive: a place in which I would have little remorse blowing half a week’s wages in… should the parents be unavailable!

Chic and welcoming, sumptuous and relaxed, Locatelli is so comfortable and comforting, delicious but delicately decadent, that one wishes we were there for supper every night.