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What was a shop selling sex toys on racy Old Compton Street is now London’s first restaurant devoted to polenta – that all-purpose, gluten-free grain made from dried, ground maize. Family-run La
Polenteria peddles its edible wares throughout the day, serving everything from polenta muffins or creamed polenta with blueberries and maple syrup for breakfast to more substantial plates of the
soft stuff pepped up with everything from Sicilian caponata or salted cod to Tuscan sausages and borlotti beans. Otherwise, take your pick from a line-up of Mediterranean-style sandwiches and
salads (perhaps smoked salmon with artichokes, rocket, olives and oranges), before rounding off with one of the home-baked cakes or pastries. The drinks list includes numerous beers, wine and
spirits, as well as a gluten-free ale. Takeaways are also available.
The concentration of restaurants in London is disproportionately higher than any other city in the rest of our GB. Unsurprisingly then, this trend is also seen in those restaurants focused on a single ingredient. The one-dish phenomenon is embraced in the Capital with the likes of ‘Burger and Lobster’, ‘Bubbledogs’, ‘Le Relais de Venise’ and many more. Lobsters, steaks, and even hotdogs are understandable candidates for this single-pronged approach; a side dish like polenta is not. This hasn’t stopped it from stealing the show however, and La Polenteria utilises this under-valued workhorse with admirable panache.Polenta...
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I am the sort of person who gets very overexcited about new food trends. Whether it is rock’n roll ramen, Taiwanese buns or Peruvian street food I will be standing outside the yet unbuilt restaurant like a needy child, waving my cutlery in the air and shouting ‘Feed me now’ to anyone who will listen. So when I heard that there was a new family-run polenta joint opening in Soho I knew that it and I wouldn’t remain strangers for long.The interior is more stylish cafe than fine dining with an attractive copper bar, wooden tables and menus chalked up on blackboards.For the uninitiated polenta is cornmeal...
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