Jason Allen 03/05/24


Get into Lita while you can.

Because very soon the throngs, the celebrities, and the awards will all grasp the restaurant in their unshakeable, glittering grip, and bookings will become so rare they’ll basically be status symbols.

At least, that’s the way it’s headed. And frankly, the experience makes us think that’s the way it’ll keep going. Because it’s great. 

The place itself is a Mediterranean live-fire joint in Marylebone (around the corner from a certain other place on Chiltern Street with verrry similar, very vibey DNA) and the creative dynamo behind it is chef Luke Ahearne, who formerly headed up the kitchen at Corrigan’s Mayfair. It’s a lovely little location, caught in a quiet triangle between Daunt Books, Carlotta and Kima

Push through its handsome double doors, and you’ll find a space that’s an inviting cocktail of both rustic and elegant touches. Above you is a ceiling ribbed with thick timber beams, and below you a terracotta tile floor already scarred with the patina of age. But in between all that is a heady, perpetually buzzing atmosphere, made all the more fun thanks to the exposed kitchen. Yes, exposed, not open. Because the chefs work away at polished wooden countertops that double up as tables, meaning that it almost feels like the kitchen has been seamlessly folded into the dining area itself.


Expense accounts everywhere will soon tremble in fear of this beef rib

The dishes those chefs are so deftly assembling are (basically) tiered into small, medium, and large plates on the menu. Standouts include the fat, glistening smoked Basque sardines; the ruby-red bluefin tuna dappled in herbs & capers; the rich beef tartare mingling with the zip of lemon; the langoustine baked rice (which comes replete with fried cod cheeks & a thick swirl or aioli); and the tender cull yaw lamb which comes armed with sweet heritage carrots. If you want to push the boat out, there’s a small fleet of fire-scorched Galician beef ribs, Peak District T-bones, and Cornish turbots to be had.


This will ruin other lemon meringue pies for you

Of course all this luxury comes at a commensurately luxurious price tag so if you want to keep things reasonable, then we recommend getting some of the wonderful sourdough (a good litmus test for any restaurant) to prevent your stomach from commandeering control of your mouth, and ordering everything. Just make sure you do order dessert – specifically the lemon meringue pie, which feels like a zesty, citrusy cloud sitting on a cushion of fennel crumbs.

It’s de-lita.


NOTE: Lita is open now, seven days a week. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right here.

Lita | 7-9 Paddington St, W1U 5QH

Want to meet the neighbours? Here are the best restaurants in Marylebone.


7-9 Paddington St, Marylebone, Central London, W1U 5QH

9.3 | Amazing