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When Russell Norman opened Soho restaurant Polpo last year, it was an immediate hit with the public for its Italian tapas, relaxed attitude and stunning interiors. A year later, he's at it again, with a miniature version of the restaurant, called Polpetto, now open on nearby Dean Street. We caught up with him for a quick Q&A. To read more about Polpetto, click here.
Did you always intend to open a sister site to Polpo?
The plan was always to open more restaurants. The opportunity at the French House presented itself and it was only then that I realised that the most appropriate use of the space should be Polpetto, a jewel-box version of Polpo.
.What can customers expect from the food?
Customers will find some Polpo favourites, but there are some exciting new dishes as well, which have come from a combination of research and menu development. New dishes will include ingredients such as fig, soft-shell crab and pigeon.
.The interior at Polpo has a fanbase of its own, can we expect a similar look at the new site?
As a big fan of the dining room at the French House in the 1990s, when Fergus and Margot [Henderson] were running it, I always wanted to be sympathetic to the existing layout of the room, but have made some significant design changes to bring it in line with Polpo’s look.
Your third site, Spuntino, is planned for later in the year. How will it differ from the two that have preceded it?
Spuntino is a complete departure. It will surprise and shock some people. I'm more excited about Spuntino than I expected to be as it has grown in terms of both design and delivery. .
Three sites in just over a year is a huge achievement. Are there plans for any more in the not too distant future?
There are no immediate plans other than to make sure that Spuntino, Polpo and Polpetto get the attention they deserve. .
.Polpetto, Upstairs at the French House, 49 Dean Street, London W1D 5BG, 020 7734 1969