Polpo Covent Garden

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Square Meal Review of Polpo Covent Garden ?

What was da Polpo is now nominally aligned with its siblings in Soho and Smithfield; otherwise, little else has changed in this Covent Garden eatery. Beyond the bright-green facade, the studied couldn't-care-less interior of chipped tiles, murky lighting and scuffed walls remains – as do the rustic small plates, heavy-duty cocktails and no-nonsense carafes of decent wine. Everything tempts on the menu, but polite staff often seem preoccupied and the food can disappoint: underdone arancini balls, over-spiced meatballs and lukewarm cotechino sausage with mealy borlotti beans suggest a kitchen too busy to care. Best to stick to ‘simple but delicious' fail-safes including fritto misto or spinach and parmesan pizzette topped with a poached egg. For dessert, avoid the measly baked peaches with over-whipped cream in favour of boozy tiramisu. Note: this branch takes bookings from 12N-6pm.


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  1. Published : Wednesday, 23 April 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Polpo

    Polpo is one of the first restaurants to popularise the concept of Italian tapas. Instead of being traumatised with unending volumes of carb and deep fried meat, Polpo instead takes inspiration from the bacaro of Venice. These relaxed bars serve rounds of tapas with glasses of liquor, a concept which is wholly agreeable. The authenticity of Polpo is buoyed by its insistence to use the correct terminology, and so these tapas are elevated with the frilly titles of ‘cicchetti’, ‘crostini’ and ‘crocchette’.

    Having never been to Venice I could not speak to the legitimacy of the food, but provenance aside, there...
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  1. Published : Friday, 26 April 2013

    The Celeriac :: Polpo, Covent Garden

    Covent Garden’s Polpo is the latest addition to the Polpo, Polpetto and Spuntino family of dark and moody no reservations restaurants by Mr Russell Norman. The concept is the same as its predecessors – bustling atmosphere, small sharing plates, great music and tumblers of very reasonable wine. All three are exclusively staffed by hipsters whose arms double as works of inky art. There’s absolutely no bookings, ever. And London absolutely loves them...
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  1. London is littered with Italian tapas restaurants and some are exceptionally good (e.g., Zucca and Bocca di Lupo). One of the more popular chains of Italian tapas restaurants is the Polpo range. We decided to try out Polpo Covent Garden...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 4 May 2013

    The Hungry Beard :: Polpo

    As you can imagine, I know Mediterranean food very well, and I like the philosophy of small, simple and tasty dishes that this Venetian bàcaro in Covent Garden offers. Everything looks fantastic: the place, the menu, the atmosphere… but although everything was good, I have to be honest, it didn’t blow me away. And it’s not just that I was expecting something more, it’s that I found some of the food a bit irregular. We ordered several small dishes to share, as they suggested. Just to name a few, the pesto and goat cheese bread and the salami calzone were excellent, as well as the light and tender gnocchis...
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  1. Da Poplo is one of Russell Norman group of restaurants. I also went to his Mishkin deli over in Covent garden another post coming soon. Tucked away behind the London’s hip district in Soho. Poplo is described, as a Venetian bàcaro, in other words Cicchetti, is similar to Spanish tapas. You order small plates to share amongst your party...
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  1. Published : Tuesday, 12 June 2012

    andmorefood :: da polpo, london

    decent modern tapas in covent garden. I’ve finally made it to one of the vaunted tapas restaurants in soho – and only because now they take reservations on the weekends for lunch. I still don’t understand the no-booking policy with most restaurants – it makes planning to go out very difficult, especially in a group, and a group always spends more than a couple or a single diner would. also, how often do you go out as a couple and decide that it would be fun standing in line for half an hour or more for food?
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  1. Published : Saturday, 15 September 2012

    London - Girl About Town :: (Da) Polpo Covent Garden

    I'm a huge fan of 'sharing' meals across all cultures and cuisines: tapas, dim sum, mezze, I love them all. Not only do you get to try a bigger selection of what the menu has to offer in a generally very affordable way but you avoid the awful spectre of Meal Envy - when, having dithered over the menu for an age, your food arrives and you immediately and desperately wish you had ordered whatever has just been put in front of your neighbour.In case you've been living on a culinary desert island for the past few years, Polpo is one of Russell Norman's group of restaurants across London based on the Venetian bacaro -...
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