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Orso first put down roots in this former orchid warehouse for Covent Garden market in 1985, and has since become a hardy Italian perennial of Theatreland dining – as has its NYC sibling. The softly lit basement displays vintage tiling and monochrome photos of stage stars: a pleasing backdrop for perusing the traditional menu of antipasti, pasta, secondi and desserts. Start with crispy zucchini fritti or creamy buffalo mozzarella with basil, ahead of fork-twirling ribbons of tagliolini in a zesty sauce of fresh crab, lemon and chilli. Meaty mains include strips of calf’s liver, simply pan-fried and topped with crispy pancetta and sage leaves. Pizza and seasonal risotto dishes are alternatives, while classic treats such as tiramisu and an all-Italian wine list lend support. Friendly staff, good-value theatre menus (£16.75/19.50 for two/three courses) and the lunchtime shopper special (steak, potatoes and salad for £12.95) ensure Orso’s continued popularity.
One of the best places to find a variety of food in London is Covent Garden. Awash with restaurants and deals, it is hard to decide where to eat in Theatreland and the surrounding areas. Orso is a fully established restaurant and has been welcoming customers into its 1950s Milanese style basement restaurant for 30 years this year. Formerly an orchid warehouse, the soft lighting, white tablecloths and relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere is a welcome haven from the madness of Covent Garden...
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