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|Address:||41 Beak Street, London W1F 9SB|
|Tel:||020 7734 4479|
|Price: £31.00||Wine: £17.00||Champagne: £66.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)|
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Rustic setting, electrically live atmosphere and comforting yet creative dishes, Polpo certainly ticks some interesting boxes when it comes to London dining. The ambiance is frenetic (if you can get through the door that is), with a bulging crowd at the bar almost reminiscent of your morning tube commute. If you are lucky enough to be seated or get near to the bar, there's plenty of choice and even the most discerning oenophile will be pleased (the gavi di gavi was particularly good) despite the unusual mini decanter and small glass duo the wine comes in.
As a typical cicchetti bar, seating at the restaurant is first come first serve and no bookings can be made, this did mean a 1.5 hour wait at the bar. For my group this was not a problem as we were busy catching up with each other but if patience is a virtue you missed out on, perhaps miss the weekend rush and go on a Monday night.
Once we were seated, it was a simple case of getting comfy on the very wooden furniture and using the ample candlelight to decide upon the many delicious sounding dishes. The waitress did a good job of helping with how many dishes we should aim for. Though, we overshot by two dishes we still cleaned all the plates up, with only a few grains of creamy ham risotto rice and succulent fritto misto remaining on the many plates. There's a good range for vegetarians too, with dishes such as Potato & Parmesan crocchetta and tomato & tapenade pizzetta amongst others and some filling and warming sides to accompany. With all of this you'd think there was no room for dessert but as the dishes were of Goldilocks portions (just perfect!), I opted for the orange and almond cake which was both scrumptious and compatible with my friend's rich and creamy chocolate pot.
All in all, an eye opening experience to the world of chicetti and an interesting contrast to the neighbouring Mayfair haunt Cecconi's, which also serves the same concept. Notes for readers: the only gripe is the wait, but once you're over that, its an uphill experience.