SquareMeal Review of
Apero at The Ampersand Hotel
The “corporatization of the Polpo look” continues apace at this Med-influenced venue attached to the Ampersand Hotel. Dangling Edison light bulbs, brick-washed walls and lots of little nooks make the cellar a calm, appealing spot for brunch and sharing plates “with plenty of innovation”. Kick off with oxtail gougères or soft-shell crab fried in semolina with kale and aïoli before tackling braised pig’s cheek with beetroot risotto and Dorset snails or spatchcock quail with apple, miso and salt-baked carrots. Assorted puds such as Sicilian lemon curd with hazelnut crumble and meringue stay with the theme. Apero also functions as a cocktail lounge, with a list of well-crafted drinks referencing the nearby V&A: try Frescobaldi, Tintoretti or To a Summer’s Day (a Beluga vodka, lemon and peach spritz inspired by Bridget Riley’s painting of the same name).