Straddling a corner spot on two of Bloomsbury’s backstreets, Balfour is a lesson in simplicity. Furnishings are on the plain side (think bistro tables & muted walls) & the old-school trattoria menu plays with a fairly straight bat – kick off with spinach & mushroom bruschetta or a traditional tricolore salad, ahead of chicken milanese, spag bol or baked gnocchi with a basil & Parmesan crust. As a neighbourhood eatery dedicated to feeding its people, Balfour isn’t too worried about authenticity – hence the presence of international interlopers such as beer-battered haddock & chips or wild boar & apple sausages with garlic mash & red wine sauce. To finish, it has to be failsafe tiramisu or crème brûlée. Sweet-natured staff & bargain two-course lunches (£6.95) are a bonus.
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