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|Address:||Acre House, 69 Long Acre, London WC2E 9JS|
|Tel:||020 3641 5823|
|Price: £39.00||Wine: £16.50||Champagne: £52.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 8am-11pm (Sat-Sun 9am- )|
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We all have our favourite early morning coffee pit stop and this is one of those places where media types will be found having a pre work kicker. If I worked in this area I too would come here but I don't so it's an evening gig for me.
Smack in the middle of tourist ridden Covent Garden, Italian inspired Machiavelli is the sort of place you would walk past thinking it sells nothing but soft drinks and tubs of olives. Consequently, even when Long Acre is heaving with revellers, you can usually walk in and get a table. And that is what I did on a Thursday night. Forget the basement but try for the small tables by the window and grab a cushion for the wooden stools and treat the large window as a big TV screen with one channel and one programme – a reality show called “Made in Covent Garden”.
Why its called Machiavelli I am not sure. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Machiavellianism is the “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”. And then I spotted the waitresses who were wearing curly cabled earplugs and dressed to look like bouncers and realised why. Best to be on best behaviour then I thought.
The place is quite “New York” and I loved it. My starter was a bog standard Bruschetta washed down with some excellent Tuscan rose. The main course was more challenging – Sardinian fish soup packed with prawns, flesh and lentils and which was presented without a spoon or finger bowl. I managed to eat much of it with a fork but had to ask for a spoon from the matrix look-a-like waitress who sternly handed me a spoon as if I was an imbecile. The soup was very good. Excellent in fact. I followed up with some of the best coffee I had had in a long while.
It wasn't cheap though. £17 for a bowl of soup but at least I got to watch some free TV (Don't people buy mirrors anymore?). Would I go again? Yes.