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11 Berwick Street
Chef Florence Knight was the breakout star of Russell Norman’s Polpo group, but she has now moved on from Polpetto to make way for a new head chef. Knight was at the helm as Polpetto relocated from a room above the French House pub to this standalone premises, and introduced a short menu which included the likes of cavolo nero and croutons, or scallops with cauliflower purée and lardo. Quirkier ideas included pickled parsley root and wet polenta but now, the menu is returning to its roots with Venetian-influenced small plates – the Polpo trademark. Anchovy and chickpea crostinis sit alongside spicy meatball pizzettas, rabbit pappardelle and zucchini fries on the menu, while the narrow, gently lit dining room is full of charm.
11 Berwick Street
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 305m
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 361m
Freedom Theatre 101m
Wardour Street 118m
Mon-Sat 12N-11pm (Sun -4pm)
Overlooking the kitchen, the semi-private Chef’s Table is ideal for groups of up to 14 looking for a spot of entertainment while dining.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
If your looking for a fantastic Italian tapas meal then a visit to Polpetto is a must for your list of places to eat. Set in the heart of the lively Soho area on Berwick Street the restaurant has a nice relaxed & casual Italian feel to it. As you enter the restaurant you'll see that it is long and narrow with the front half consisting of a bar on the left and a seated area on the the right. As you move to the rear there are three booths for Two people on the left with a long bench seat with tables that can easily be rearranged for small or larger parties. The open kitchen is downstairs where you'll also find the chefs table. As the place was quite empty when we arrived we decided to seat in one of the booths but it wasn't long before the restaurant was virtually full which was the first good sign . We started with a cocktail while browsing through the menu where all the dishes looked so appealing but once we had a chat with the waitress about her recommendations we finally made our choice . Our first two courses were an absolute delight a Pea , Asparagus & Ricotta Crostini which was nice and light and refreshing especially as the other course was the amazing Octopus Skewers with Zucchini , Tomato & Rosemary The next few dishes were equally as good and began with a stunning Sea Trout & Aubergine Caponata. We then received a lovely surprise as the chef sent us an extra dish the fabulous Linguine with Crab , Chilli & Samphire. These two dishes went perfectly well with the fantastic Panzanella Salad We then moved on to our final selection of dishes the Lamb Neck with Saffron Risotto & some heavenly Pork & Beef Meatballs together with Zucchini Fries & Focaccia. I have to commend the way the dishes came out in a perfect order so that each section matched It was then time for desserts and they were also delicious a beautiful Orange & Almond Polenta Cake with Mascarpone & a delicious Chocolate Pot which came with Candied Fennel that I was very interested to try and can honestly say it was truly delightful This brought to an end a truly fantastic tapas lunch where we also had the pleasure of meeting Head Chef David a very nice man. The food was excellent and the staff were very friendly making this a great place for couples or larger parties and a great menu to suit whether it's for a quick or a nice long pleasant lunch. Therefore I would highly recommend a visit.
Food + drink: 2
The Polpetto I remember with affection was a tiny place above the French House pub- literally a handful of tables but with interesting and well cooked food that drew us back repeatedly. It's closure was sad and its eventual re-opening on Berwick Street met with enthusiasm from us, though it was apparent even then that many of the dishes we enjoyed would not be on offer here.
Today we needed somewhere fairly early, quick and Soho-ish before a theatre visit, so it seemed appropriate to try Polpetto again. We ordered six courses. Only one of these ( deep fried courgettes) was worthy of the restaurant we once knew. The rest were middling - food as fuel rather than food as enjoyment- and it is now plain to us that the talent and skills that once made Polpetto a place to be reckoned with are no longer there. This was very simple rustic food without the veneers of imagination and culinary skill that marked it once. It's made worse for being brought all together- well in two batches. The "mains" - for these are small plates were brought three at once at varying telperatures, and cool tagliatelli wouldn't be my choice. The carafe of wine we ordered was poured from a bottle that wasn't opened fresh, and didn't taste good. We switched and again we got wine from a bottle that again must have been opened yesterday. It wasn't much better than the first but life's too short and embarrassment sets in so we accepted it. No bread offered except as a menu item, and they served my espresso in a glass. I'd prefer a cup. The bill was £76- so not hugely expensive, but I do wonder what a fair price is for mediocre food?
All told just too many things wrong to afford them the benefit of doubt. We won't return. To speculate, the way this place looks and the fact that its dropped away so much might lead one to conclude that it is already due a substantial make-over , re-presentation and re-branding.
Food + drink: 4
We stumbled across this restaurant by chance when wandering around Soho on Saturday evening looking for somewhere for dinner. It's a fairly small restaurant and, as would be expected, it was full at 8.30pm on a Saturday. The staff were super friendly and offered us seats at the small bar at the front of the restaurant instead - we were more than happy to sit here. The waitress behind the bar was attentive and knowledgeable; happy to explain the (fairly small) menu to us. The food itself is really tasty, Italian-inspired small plates - we were recommended 2-3 per person. Highlights from the menu included the absolutely delicious octopus, mushroom and radicchio, the crispy and salty deep fried squid with zucchini and chilli, and the melt-in-the-mouth pork cheek with roast potatoes. The meal was fairly reasonably priced - around £60 for 2 (including 2 bottles of Moretti each). I would definitely go back to this restaurant - relaxed, buzzy atmosphere and tasty food.. a great find!
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