Polpetto 1

11 Berwick Street , London, W1F 0PL

3 reviews

40 Italian Soho

  • Polpetto London restaurant Soho Italian
  • Polpetto London restaurant Soho Italian

SquareMeal Review of Polpetto

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.

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Food & Drink: 7.0

Service: 6.3

Atmosphere: 6.3

Value: 6.3

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

David H. platinum reviewer 22 January 2017

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: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Alex L. 11 April 2016

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!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David H. platinum reviewer 22 February 2014

After several visits, the first incarnation of Polpetto was well established on our “go back to” list and we were both surprised and disappointed when we rang one day and got no answer. After what seems an age its now popped up half a mile away on Berwick Street, and the time between my hearing this and making my reservation can't have been more than five minutes. In some ways little has changed. Its still a restricted menu of small and a little bit larger plates of interesting Italian based food- and its kind of hard to know how many to order given what you choose to eat. The food is tasty and interesting, though not gourmet. It varies from quite creative to a marginally different take on dishes like Caesar Salad ( the Cavolo Nero with anchovy and bread ) with a tendency towards the latter, but no complaints here, its pretty much all food I like. The veal cheeks and pappardelle with hare ragu were pretty good today, we thought – though the simpler dishes like lentils and tomatoes didn't stand out the same way. Good bread and excellent olive oil. My wife thought the menu was shorter than it was and checking old sites online confirms this- and don't expect all your favourites from Polpetto Mark 1 to be on the menu now. Certainly the place was bigger, but its long and narrow, not an elegant shape and diners sit in long rows and rather too close together in the main space anyway. We liked the character of the old place rather more, though as we always ate there at lunch with a reservation we never felt the effect of the long lines that its minute size produced. So, mixed emotions from us- great to see it back and our visit today was certainly enjoyable. Is it better than it was? We didn't think so, but its early days both for us and for the restaurant. Go again? Sure.


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