Restaurant review: Sartoria, London
Pleasures Pursued: Prandial Pleasure – Venetian Finds.

I have always avoided Venice during its annual February carnival. Marauding crowds of masked revellers and Acqua Alta (high water - a risk in February) do not a great mini-break make. So I was glad to hear that carnival fare can be sampled in central London.

Throughout February, Savile Row's elegant pan-Italian restaurant Sartoria has a three-course menu consisting of seasonal ingredients from the Veneto, a region known for its fish, seafood and spices.

After peach puree martinis (Harry's Bar with a carnivalesque kick), we settled into the large, candlelit dining room – more Milan than Venice in its minimalism - and were tended to by our sommelier. He suggested a springy white Verdicchio for the deliciously fresh anchovies with a Venetian chutney of marinated onion and raisins - and a richer white, Malvasia, for our mussel soup with garlic croutons. Then light reds with the mains: a warming risotto soup with bacon, peas, and parmesan – a north-eastern Italian peasant classic initially designed to satisfy a family of eight or more; and a generous plateful of moscardini (sautéed baby octopus - exceptionally good and exceptionally small!) with black squid-ink rice.

Next, the best tiramisu I have ever tasted, a glass of Veneto moscato, and a slice of moist flourless Venetian chocolate cake with a sweetish chilled red.
And the final fling: deep-fried sweet pasta strips, or ''chiacchiere'' (chatter), dipped into a sort of vin santo - a suitable accompaniment to the chatter of our fellow (mainly Italian) diners. By the time we stepped out into London's own Acqua Alta, we were revelling.

Venetian Carnival Menu, £24.50 for three-courses, runs throughout February at Sartoria, 20 Savile Row, London W1X 1AE, 020 7534 7000.