21 April 2014

Polpettoone star

11 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PL

£40.00 Italian Soho
  • Wine: £18.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)

Square Meal Review of Polpetto ?

Chef Florence Knight has been the breakout star of Russell Norman’s Polpo group and the relocation of Polpetto from a rickety room above the French House pub to standalone premises has been greeted with more excitement than the usual chain expansion. It helps that Knight is a Soho local who knows what switched-on urbanites want to eat: daintily portioned cavolo nero and croûtons in a toothsome anchovy dressing was a standout from the short menu when we visited, ably supported by scallops with cauliflower purée and silky lardo, hare pappardelle and maple tart – although quirkier ideas such as pickled parsley root and wet polenta have more limited appeal. There’s a snappy Italian wine list too, though Aperol- and Campari-based cocktails are an equally good match for the food, while the narrow, gently lit dining room has a charm that the hipster staff sometimes lack.

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  1. Polpetto

    11 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PL
    Overall rating:
    David H.

    Its back- and I was delighted to hear it


    • Food & Drink: 8
    • Service: 6
    • Atmosphere: 6
    • Value: 7

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  1. Published : Sunday, 13th April 2014

    The Hedonist :: Polpetto – Review

    Russell Norman is one of London’s most intriguing restaurateurs. You may have seen him in his BBC2 series, The Restaurant Man, in which he uses his considerable charm to try to imbue novices in the game with a little common sense. He built his reputation as Operations Director for the Caprice Group and since then has created a small but perfectly formed group of restaurants in the West End ranging from Spuntino, a New York-style Italian joint, to Mishkins, a faux Jewish deli-style restaurant. The beating heart of the operation is Soho’s Polpo, styled as a Venetian bacaro, which launched the trend for highly stylised small plate eating. They are fun, buzzy places with distinct identities and have helped define the London scene over the last few years. Polpetto, a younger sibling of Polpo, opened in the legendary dining space on top of the rather louche French House pub in Dean Street. At the stove was the chef Florence Knight whose food soon met with wide critical acclaim. Now moved to larger premises in Berwick St, reviews have ranged between the adulatory and the average so I thought I should see for myself...
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  2. Today the spotlight is on the clam. Particularly the ones in the newly opened Polpetto in Soho: fiddly to get to and salty to taste, slightly sweet on the chew and enveloped in a thin coating of sauce (crème fraiche with wilted wild garlic). The fingers of focaccia are torn off to mop up the juices and collect the flecks of wild garlic flowers. The second best dish consists of slivers of cauliflower with the edges browned and wizened, a sculptural shard next to plump scallops, and hidden under the folded fat that is lardo. All on a cream-coloured purée of truffled cauliflower, which is utterly moreish...
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  3. Published : Monday, 31st March 2014

    S.W. Foodie :: Polpetto

    One of my best boys is literally down the road from my place of work and luckily is into food (and restaurants) as much as I am (possibly even more so!). It was a Friday and wanting to treat ourselves (and ourselves lucky if we were to get in) we popped down to the newly reopened 'Polpetto' for a spot of lunch. Luck happened to be on our side and we arrived just before the Polpetto rush at 12:30pm and were seated straight away at the bar. Another place to be inspired by décor the ceiling is stunning (one can only dream!) and like her sister restaurants it's stripped back, bare and basic goodness!...
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  4. Polpetto is set to re-open its doors after a small hiatus. After the original venue proved to small and the restaurant’s 23 seats were always oversubscribed. Polpetto occupied the first floor of the French House pub on Dean Street for two years with Florence Knight at the helm. During that time it attracted critical acclaim (“amazingly good… flawless… perfect” – The Telegraph) and gained a massive following of fans. Florence Knight returns to the London dining scene as executive head chef of the new Polpetto on Berwick Street, which opened on the 10th February 2014. She will to continue to showcase her unique brand of meticulous seasonality and simplicity...
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  5. Published : Sunday, 16th February 2014

    Samphire and Salsify :: Polpetto, Soho

    When Polpetto originally opened in a tiny room above the French House on Dean Street in Soho, it was my favourite restaurant. I remember osso buco and a steak salad with truffle dressing; the food was always brilliant. When it closed I was rather shocked, as I thought it would be there forever. Luckily for me however, Russell Norman (he’s The Restaurant Man on BBC2, if you’ve been watching) has re-opened this Venetian restaurant serving small plates, round the corner on Berwick Street. It was a small and fairly narrow space but beautifully done out. There was a bar with ingenious stool seats that pull out and tuck away (you’ll see what I mean) at the front and very tightly packed tables out the back, with a few more downstairs opposite the open kitchen. During our Saturday lunch time visit the atmosphere was very pleasant indeed – chilled and relaxed...
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  6. Published : Tuesday, 11th February 2014

    The List :: Polpetto

    After a boozy wine tasting at Central & Co with Pacta Connect Wines (more on that later), Maggie, Natalie and I were in dire need of some food. Conveniently, Florence Knight's Polpetto has finally landed in Berwick Street and the crowds haven't found it yet. Londoners have been impatiently waiting for Polpetto to return after it was moved on from the little room above The French House. The Berwick Street site fortunately has room for 70 (compared to 23 last time!) but I'm sure it will be packed soon enough. We mulled over the menu with refreshing Rhubarb & Rose Bellinis and a Cynar Gin Fizz. The rhubarb swizzle garnish was so good that we asked for a separate bowl of them. We eventually made our minds up, ordering 5 large plates and 2 sides between three of us which proved to be the right amount. This was helped by the delicious complimentary focaccia made on site, and a plate of fresh tomatoes that the kitchen was eager to show off...
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Essential Details for Polpetto

  • Address: 11 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PL
  • Telephone: 020 7439 8627
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Area: Soho
  • Price: £40.00
  • Wine: £18.00

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