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Polpo’s Smithfield branch is a ‘near replica’ of Russell Norman’s original Venetian-style bácaro in Soho – and that’s a good thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seems to be the thinking behind
the trendy brick-and-tile interiors, the downstairs Negroni bar and hip ‘small plates’ menu scrawled on rough paper. The result is a ‘kooky’ hangout that’s always jammed and ‘great for a date’.
Sharing is the way to go, which means you can give the menu a decent workout: start with ‘cicheti’ (small snacks) and an Aperol spritz before dipping into super-delicious cuttlefish and ink
risotto, subtle rabbit and chicory tonnata salad or whole mozzarella with a heap of perfect broad beans. To finish, order the flourless orange cake or Nutella pizzette, plus another carafe of
Italian wine (it’s that kind of place). You can book for lunch, but after 5pm it’s first come, first served.
We walked past this so often and thought little of the inconspicuous Polpo on Cowcross Street, Farringdon. Went in there for martinis a couple of weeks ago, then returned for food recently.Can’t book here, so we turned up at about 8 and had to wait 45 minutes in the cosy Negroni Bar downstairs which was no great inconvenience. Nice atmosphere in the bar and the martinis are decent. Mine, cucumber and basil. Hers, something with elderflower, I cant remember.The restaurant upstairs is bustling and full of energy, always something to catch your eye whether it be another diner or the quirky decor...
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Situated on a side-street just across from Smithfields meat market, the restaurant has a great atmosphere - dimly lit, but not overly so, with a nice bar and a cosy dining area. We started off with drinks at the bar, before moving to a snug table in the corner of the restaurant. Polpo has a fantastic menu - everything is designed to be shared (my favourite way of eating)...
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I went for the first time to the restaurant Polpo Smithfield with a friend James, I didn't know what was the concept of this restaurant or their menu as I never watch their website, so it was interesting to choose this place for dinner.Polpo is a Bàcaro which is the ancient Venetian name to refer to a bar/restaurant for a quick lunch /dinner stop, it is the same concept as a tapas bar in Spain but more sophisticated...
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