Flack: (Saving) on Expenses - The Opera Tavern, London WC2

Reviewer: Sian Boisseau, director, Virgo Consumer Health

What is it good for?

The Opera Tavern in Covent Garden is the latest opening from those behind the Salt Yard and Dehesa restaurants, providing excellent Italian and Spanish tapas-style cooking but with such elegance and flair that every person I have taken there has been impressed.

Signature dishes

The cheese-stuffed deep-fried courgette flowers drizzled in honey are to die for. The belly of pork with cannellini beans is also excellent.

Who's the boss?

The general manager of The Opera Tavern is Pepe Baaziz, who has managed the restaurant since it opened in January. Before that, he was general manager at The Opera Tavern's sister restaurant Dehesa in Soho for three years.

Tips please

Downstairs is more atmospheric and sitting at the bar always gives you the feel of being in the thick of it. The wine and sherry list deserves sampling.

What's the damage?

Tapas-style dishes range between £7 and £11. The bill always seems pretty reasonable for such great quality food.

The Opera Tavern, 23 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JS. 020 7836 3680.

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