Polpetto, another branch out from Russel Norman; one of the best restauranteurs in London. You may know him from his three branches of Polpo (Beak Street, Covent Garden, Smithfield), Spuntino and the Ape & Bird. When Polpetto closed its doors in 2012 it felt like it might be a sad time but it was never to be for good. The aim was to find a larger premises and move away from being above the French House pub on Dean Street.
There’s always a restaurant you’ve been meaning to go to but it just gets missed during the important part of your search. Polpetto was ours and we’re just finally glad we made the trip!
You enter Polpetto through a thick red velvet curtain which is a nice touch you normally see from fine dining establishments. It shields the customers from the outside and it means you’ll have to actually take a step inside to see the restaurant if you’re browsing. The restaurant is long with a a bar on the left hand side. The furnishings are wooden and the dimly lit space looks fantastic. There are seats at the bar and just behind it where we waited whilst our table became free. We did find out at this point that there’s a chefs table downstairs which is available to book.
Once seated at our table a small menu was handed to us. These are the best kinds of menus, with not too much choice but just enough to make you wonder. The menu is seasonal so take a look at the menu online for an example of what might be in store. Being a Venetian small plates venue, the wine list is aptly Italian so it wasn’t long before we were glugging down a lovely bottle of Chianti Reserva. To accompany this fine wine we ordered: Cavolo nero, with anchovy & burnt butter bread, Burrata with agretti & chilli, Pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke & parsley and Clams with sea purslane & linguine. The stand outs for us where the Cavolo nero and the clams. Both executed to perfection and kept us very happy as the cavolo nero hit home first. Being kale fans this was always going to go down well with us! The anchovy in this dish helped take it to the next level and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s easy to just keep on ordering here so we thought why not get the Beef shin with strozzapreti, braised chick peas and some wet polenta. It was becoming quickly apparent that head chef Florence Knight (great name!) is on to a winner and has been for quite some time.
To finish we had the Fried pecorino with honey and the Chocolate flan with creme fraiche. Both very good desserts for different reasons. Firstly because you’ll never have had fried pecorino cheese with honey and secondly because the chocolate flan is famous in soho (our bias!).
Keep ordering the excellent wine and try your best not to order everything on the menu. Don’t worry, we nearly did it! This quickly has shot up our list to one of our favourite meals in Soho and it’s not far off being one of our most enjoyable yet.
11 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 0PL