SquareMeal Review of
Mele e Pere
Old Soho-ites who bewail the steady erosion of their neighbourhood’s Italian character can take heart from Mele e Pere. This casual, confident bar-cum-restaurant delivers what its customers want, while pursuing its own lines of interest (three types of homemade vermouth, we’re looking at you). Ex-Arbutus chef Andrea Mantovani has “added a new dimension to the menu” with sharing starters such as rib-eye tartare and deep-fried squid with smoked aïoli. He doesn’t always play it straight, either – bigoli with spicy spianata salami and broad beans contrasts with the soothingly familiar “comfort food vibe” of risotto milanese. Mains tend to favour butch ideas such as veal chop with borettane onions or lamb’s heart with San Daniele ham and lentils, while acacia and rosemary gelato is a neat way of closing proceedings. Note that decibels can skyrocket in the basement.