Soho hot spot Polpo has successfully extended its tentacles to cool Clerkenwell for Russell Norman's latest take on the Venetian bácaro, with added alfresco seating and a basement Negroni bar. The deliberately shabby, exposed brickwork and metal tables are no surprise to Polpo regulars – nor is the bright, full-flavoured food: a deliciously flavoursome pizzette of cured pork shoulder and pickled pepper might be followed by punchy but clean mackerel tartare with horseradish and ‘carta di musica' flatbread. Other highlights include an indulgent dish of flank steak with white truffle cream. Swift, breezy service is a boon for time-poor City types, while more than a dozen wines are available by the carafe. This branch of Polpo allows table reservations from noon until 5pm; after that, it's first come, first served – although you can always take your chances at the bar.
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