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A child-friendly café by day & a good-value, welcoming restaurant by night, Le Querce is the ideal neighbourhood joint. At lunchtime, mums & their bambini pack the small front terrace &
café tables, enticed by a short menu of bruschette & pastas (less than £7 including a drink). Evenings see a more grown-up crowd, with tables in the cosy back room filling first. Ingredients
are top notch: a starter of burrata comes with beautifully charred aubergine; lamb chops are full of flavour, their fat grilled to perfection. The open kitchen also produces top-quality pasta,
pizzas (Tuesdays to Thursdays only) & myriad ice creams & sorbets, with flavours including pumpkin & amaretto, aubergine, & wild fennel seed. There’s a branch in Blackheath, but the
Brockley original is more inviting.
A few months ago, I was surprised to find a gem of Tapas restaurant in the unlikely location of Honor Oak. The suburb is a halfway spot between one of my best friend and my homes so we are gradually working our way through the bars and restaurants in the area. As I cook Italian so often at home, I don’t often eat it when I go out, so I’m always looking for that extra ‘something’ when I seek out Italian restaurants to frequent. A few weeks ago, we paid an impromptu visit to Le Querce on Brockley Rise in the Honor Oak/Forest Hill area. The restaurant covers two shop fronts – one longer with tables dotted around the centrepiece bar, while a shallower group of tables in the adjoining section next door. The night in question we arrived, it was pretty busy, but as we were a party of two, they were able to accommodate us straight away. The interiors were fairly simple: wooden tables, comfortable chairs and the sort of photos you’d see on a wall in someone’s home, giving it a laidback feel and leaving the focus on the food...
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