London has been in the midst of a fresh pasta obsession for a few years now, and Covent Garden’s Bancone is one of the brightest stars to come out of the trend. Now, the affordable pasta joint has decided to double up its London portfolio with a second site in Soho.
This Lower James Street branch of Bancone extends across two floors and can accommodate around 90 diners, who perch on counters and high tables. The main dining room is on the ground floor and features an imposing olive tree at its centre, while the large basement is home to a dedicated cocktail bar and a private dining space for 12-16 people (you can hire the entire downstairs for a private party, if you like).
The menu is much the same as at the original site, and features pasta dishes which have become Bancone signatures, such as the ‘silk handkerchiefs’ which are served with walnut butter and confit egg yolk. The pasta plates are bookended by antipasti such as honeyed garlic focaccia and burrata, as well as puddings including chocolate mousse and a peanut butter panna cotta with raspberry gel. Look out for regular changing specials too, which are exclusive to the Soho location.
Wine is a natural pairing for pasta, and Bancone has an extensive European-leaning list of by-the-glass options to choose from. There are cocktails too, though, if you prefer, including a twist on the classic Espresso Martini called the Amaresso Martini.
Bancone Soho takes up residence on the former site of a branch of Foxlow, the spin-off mini-chain from the Hawksmoor group which has now closed all of its sites. Bancone’s original location in Covent Garden opened in April 2018, where it won praise for its simple, high-quality menu of pasta dishes, and pocket-friendly prices.