If you’re in the Covent Garden area and wanting a slice of Italy, head to the Li Veli Winery and Bistro in Long Acre. You can enjoy dishes from the Puglia region and wine from around Italy, stored and sold at the bistro. The interior is well-lit and airy with a soft colour palette to brighten up the restaurant. Find light woods and white furnishings against canary yellows and eggshell greens. Chalkboards and bottles of wine line the walls, adding to the bistro feel.
Li Veli Winery and Bistro proudly shows off its heritage through its traditional Apulian cuisine from Southern Italy and its Italian ingredients are sourced from local markets. The dishes are known to be simple yet nourishing and homely with recipes coming straight from family cookbooks. The bistro is a family-run establishment which started in Puglia after partnering with the winery and a hotel group, and because of its success it crossed borders.
Begin with a snack of home-baked tomato and oregano focaccia bread or Apulian olives before moving onto a selection of cured meats for appetizers. You can also try the fish tartare or fish carpaccio of the day. For mains, twirl your fork into some pasta, such as the fresh maritati pasta in Apulian meat ragout. Other mains include an authentic aubergine parmigiana or the Mediterranean-style seabass fillet. Li Veli Winery and Bistro’s signature dish is the ‘polpo in pignata’: octopus stewed with tomato, potatoes, onion and laurel and is a must if you feel like branching out. End your meal with a warm almond flan served with scoops of vanilla ice-cream and cocoa crumble, pistachio ice-cream or a range of Apulian almond pastries.
You can’t go to Li Veli Winery and Bistro without mentioning the wine. The bistro itself is stacked with wine bottles and the winery can be seen from the tables, making for an elegant feature. The wines stocked are Li Veli’s own, coming from the Masseria Li Veli Winery in Puglia and are poured by the glass or ordered by the bottle.