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GLOBAL : CORRESPONDENTS' COURSES : Times writers around the world reveal the names of their favoritelittle-known restaurants : LONDON

October 20, 1985| Bill Tuohy

Italian restaurants in London have a lot going for them. They are lively, cheerful and relatively inexpensive. There is a problem, however. Most are narrow and deep--and that means noisy. Often you find yourself unwillingly sharing confidences with someone at the next table, or shouting for the benefit of your companion across the table.

But a new, conveniently situated restaurant called La Finezza has eliminated overcrowding. The tables are adequately separated, providing a feeling of spaciousness and luxury. The canary-yellow decor is cheery, and there are large windows in the main room, so that even on the meanest days you don't get the feeling that you're dining in a submarine. There is a downstairs room that is quite clubby in the evening.

The location is practical. La Finezza is on Lower Sloane Street, at the corner of Turks Row, a minute from Sloane Square and King's Road in SW3 and close to Belgravia, Chelsea, Pimlico and Knightsbridge.

The food is straightforward Italian, with such British touches as smoked salmon and oysters (in season). There is antipasto, including a dish of mixed smoked ham and salami, and a tasty seafood salad. Of course, there is the fresh pasta of the day, and gnocchi is generally on the menu. Vegetables vary with the season, and the restaurant offers a mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk, a rarity in London.

The fish courses include Dover sole and salmon as well as deep-fried calamari . Beef and veal are available in abundance, along with carpaccio , thinly sliced raw beef with a Parmesan cheese sauce. A house specialty is fegato semplice , grilled calf's liver with bacon.

There is a dessert trolley and plenty of Italian wines and real espresso to finish off the meal. By London standards, the prices are moderate to medium.

La Finezza, 64 Lower Sloane St.; telephone 730-8639. Reservations recommended.

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