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64 Old Compton Street
If you’re gluten-intolerant, vegan or vegetarian, this Soho Italian is a safe bet: everything on the menu is suitable thanks to an unswerving devotion to polenta. The production process is proudly described on the cream and jade walls of the small, casual dining room: polenta is made from gluten-free cornmeal ground from dried maize. Starters, brought by clued-up staff, include the popular courgette and polenta ‘box’, stuffed with vegetables, but we particularly recommend the burrata mousse – a wobbling tower layered with aubergine beneath stretched, crisp polenta sheets. Mains major in pasta: try the delicious, firm beef ravioli, scattered with raisins and pine nuts. We also enjoyed some carefully cooked pork fillets, creatively paired with a pleasing liquorice sauce. There are numerous vegetarian dishes too, including cauliflower ‘steak’ and black rice-stuffed baby courgettes. Desserts, all made on the premises, cover the Italian classics, while the wine list ventures beyond Italy and offers a strong by-the-glass choice. Brunch and lunch are served daily, adding to the appeal of this useful West End option.
Gluten-free restaurants in London
64 Old Compton Street
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 287m
Leicester Square Tube Station 291m
Wardour Street 34m
Freedom Theatre 41m
Mon-Fri 8.30am-11.30pm (Friday -12M) Sat-Sun 12N-12M (Sun -11pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
My experience of Polenta to date was limited to polenta cake, and as far as I am aware, its not yet been lauded as the next super ingredient. So I was very surprised on arriving to find a queue outside. everyone loves polenta, it seems.
The service was outstanding: friendly, fun, courteous and apologetic in the case of our short wait outside. And the food. Well, I was expecting a limited choice, but who knew that polenta was so versatile? From savoury cupcakes for starters - filled with classic Mediterranean-style fillings, to polenta pies, and our choices: creamy polenta topped with roasted vegetable ragu and grilled goats cheese with onion chutney. Both toppings, though very different in flavour, provided an incredible contrast to the soft, hot polenta, which absorbed and carried the flavours beautifully. I could have eaten a whole vat.
Puddings were more polenta in the form of cake or, sas the restaurant was rather hot, we plumped for intense, bitter, dark chocolate icecream.
My favourite part? The fun, chalkboard wall showing how polenta is transformed from its raw state to the oozing pile of deliciousness on my plate.
Perfect for gluten-free foodies, those wanting a healthy yet hearty meal, and those who love cake.
When I read about this in Westminster Library I shot straight up there on my bike. It was the middle of a quiet afternoon in Soho if such things still exist. The restaurant was easy to spot it was empty of Diners.
After a quick perusal of the menu I strode inside.
The staff behind the bar looked a little startled at the appearance of a customer.
People outside watched me quizzically.
I ordered a straightforward Polenta Veggie dish.
Then sat down at a table of my choice.
The vibe is heavy Latin America Macho casual sort of Desert Bikers Bar!
This was a little intimidating but the staff seemed quite nice and professional mature and down to earth…
Soon a huge steaming hot plate of Polenta arrived pronto.It had huge amounts of Peppers etc. Delicious very very filling and well worth the £7 or so!
Excellent on a Winters Day.
I felt chuffed to have discovered such a gem that was interested in serving value for money food
in generous amounts quickly.
Would return though I feel it more Winters'Warming fare.
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