This Iconic Restaurant In London Has One Of Stanley Tucci's Favorite Dishes In The World

Thirteen Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards are just a few of the accolades travel show host Stanley Tucci has managed to collect over the course of his gold-stamped acting career, making him a prominent figure in the film industry. However, acting isn't the only way the New York-born talent has made a name for himself — he also happens to be a culinary expert. With one foot in the film industry and one in the culinary landscape, it's not uncommon for Tucci to be asked what his all-time favorite dishes are in London. Unsurprisingly, the meal sitting at the top of his list happens to be the smoked eel sandwich from the iconic British restaurant Quo Vadis.

After relocating across the world with his wife in 2013, Tucci now resides in an epicurean capital that's home to more than 70 Michelin-starred restaurants. London's melting pot of culinary delights was even featured as the setting for season two of his documentary series, "Searching for Italy." This documentary series details the intricate art of Italian cooking while educating the public on what true Italian cuisine looks like. It was in this silver screen spotlight that Tucci highlighted his love for Quo Vadis and its Italian heritage.

Smoked eel sandwich, anyone?

An eel sandwich may not sound like the most appetizing entrée to some, but according to Tucci, it's one of the best dishes he's ever come across. Tucci isn't the only one to crown this maritime-inspired sandwich as a herald creation. The smoked eel sandwich is a signature dish of Quo Vadis, invented by head chef Jeremy Lee. A simple concoction of sourdough, smoked eel, mustard, butter, horseradish cream, and pickled red onions was all it took to create one of the most timeless staples that ever graced the menu of Quo Vadis. While the ingredients are simple, the effort Chef Lee puts into perfecting his sandwich is slightly more intricate.

Quality counts for everything in this dish, from beginning to end. Lee is careful to source nothing but the finest ingredients from around Europe for his prized culinary sensation. You won't be biting into just any sourdough in this sandwich. The bread is imported directly from an artisan sourdough company in Paris called Poilâne. Given the height of fame this dish has risen to in the streets of London, the restaurant buys seven to eight eels a week to keep up with customer demand. The eels are packaged and shipped to the restaurant from an eel farm in Lincolnshire. While this legendary sandwich was originally created at Lee's former restaurant, The Blueprint Café, it wasn't until after Lee relocated to the kitchen in Quo Vadis that his ingenious creation rose to fame.

Quo Vadis — a London legend

The reigning jewel of London's culinary institutions on Dean Street, it's not surprising that Quo Vadis has received positive recognition from Tucci. Situated in Soho, London's best neighborhood for foodies, the restaurant originally opened as an Italian establishment in 1926 under the guidance of Chef Peppino Leoni, an Italian migrant. While the restaurant contains a storied past as an Italian bistro, the modern menu is peppered with traditional British dishes. Tucci even went as far as to say that Quo Vadis has molded his experience of London's culinary scene in an interview with Foodism.

From its picturesque black and white striped awnings to the aesthetic print that spells out the restaurant's moniker on the cloud-white storefront, Quo Vadis is easily one of London's prettiest restaurants. Aside from the fact that the building, which now houses the restaurant and Quo Vadis's member club, used to be the home of Karl Marx, it's also achieved an impressive collection of accolades. Quo Vadis has received a National Restaurant Award and was named Best Restaurant in London by GQ. 

There are a few explanations behind why this restaurant has garnered the spotlight of attention it has. Local, seasonal ingredients are a key aspect, as is the quick, personalized service and genius culinary talent of Head Chef Lee. Of course, the legendary smoked eel sandwich seals the deal. From signature breakfast plates to personalized gourmet chef dinners, it's easy to see what draws Tucci to this alluring London hot spot.