Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

Bronze Award
2 Reviews
££££
Italian

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SquareMeal Review of Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

Bronze Award

Opened in 1944, Soho’s Lina Stores delicatessen has managed to survive the sky-high rents and glossy redevelopments that have claimed all too many of the area’s Italian old-timers. Now, it has produced a bambino: a debut pasta restaurant just a few minutes’ walk away on Greek Street. Here, the exterior proudly displays Lina’s signature green-and-white colour scheme, which is continued inside the tiny space. Try to bag a seat at the counter and watch the chefs at work; all pasta is made on site daily. Alternatively, if you’re hoping for a chat, head to the basement – don’t discuss anything confidential, mind, as tables are packed tuna-can tight.


Charming, attractive staff explain the menu of sharing antipasti and pasta dishes. We were impressed by the lusciously fatty strips of pork belly sandwiched between slices of crisp ciabatta, and also by a vegetarian take on meatballs that came stuffed with silky aubergine and tomato. The stars of the show, though, are the comforting plates of pasta. Don’t miss the gamey veal ravioli: tender chunks of veal wrapped in delicate pasta parcels, given crunch with a smattering of breadcrumbs. A plate of sticky green gnudi was also heavenly, the smooth ricotta and herb filling melting on the tongue. In comparison, dessert disappointed: an overcooked, dry slice of cherry and almond tart. Much better was a zesty cocktail of Blood Orange Bellini. Our advice? Skip dessert and order another plate of pasta – your dough will be well spent on Lina’s.


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Good to know about Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Italian
Ambience
Cool, Lively
Special Features
Counter dining
People
Dates

Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street is featured in

Best restaurants in Soho Best Italian restaurants in London

Location for Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

51 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EH

020 3929 0068

Website

Opening Times of Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

Mon-Sat 5pm-11pm

Reviews of Lina Stores - 51 Greek Street

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2 Reviews 
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Service
Atmosphere
Value

David H

Bland bland bland; so disappointing.
05 January 2019  
I don't often review a restaurant twice, especially just a few months after our first visit - which on balance we enjoyed. Strangely enough the major disappointment today was its strength last time, the pasta dishes. We tried three today. None of the sauces had much flavour at all - the gnocchi dish certainly didn't taste of goose, and their attempt at cacio e pepe was frankly derisory - with no pecorino flavour at all emerging. The very small pasta portions were warm, soggy and virtually tasteless. This isn't what we got last time at all. The red wine was rather sharp - simply not well made I expect. The weaknesses apparent on our last visit were all still apparent today, the place is still very cramped and not comfortable enough, and it's very noisy. Both of these aspects were raised with staff last July and we were told that those points were fully recognised and would be acted on. But no change for the better was visible today. Service today was brisk and friendly -as it was last time. Our bill for two starters, bread and three pasta courses, 500cl plus a glass of wine was £75. We left before dessert and coffee, and frankly as they want the table back after just 80 minutes we wouldn't have had time for them anyway. I'd have been delighted to pay that if we'd enjoyed the meal, but as I've said before, there's no such thing as a fair price for poor food, and sadly that's what we had today in a restaurant that has demonstrated an ability to do better. We won't go back. We will return to Bancone, where a similar concept is delivered -so far at least- much better.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

David H

Food is good, but cramped and very noisy
29 July 2018  
The menu tells you much of what you need to know. Not a huge amount of choice - its basically a framework for Lina's pasta. So rustic, and none the worse for that, but don't go expecting a gourmet experience. The pasta dishes are what they describe as "pasta size" relating back to the Italian habit of serving pasta as a kind of large starter rather than a main course. So here's the thing; for most people I suspect they'll need a starter ('nduja is great; prosciutto decent) and probably 3 pastas between 2 as your main- more if you're ravenous. Now the pastas may not be huge, but they are certainly cooked nicely and very tasty. So the food's good. Now then, the place. Its not large and all the seating except bar stools is in the basement. The place was busy at lunch. It is frankly cramped and as a function of acoustics its a very loud experience, and quiet conversation with your dining companion pretty much out of the question; this could be the worst first-date restaurant anywhere! And there's nowhere to put backpacks of which there were quite a few, and things get in the way. Frankly the food is worth a better environment than this. And especially so view of the fact that it's good value. Our 2 starters, three pastas, two glasses of decent house wine , a cocktail, and service came to £63. clearly I can speak only for us, but we'd be more than happy to pay another 15% for a bit more space and the ability to sustain a conversation! Service is decent, friendly, explains the concept of the place nicely. And its not too brisk; pace about right. We enjoyed it, & we'll go again, even if we have to remember the ear defenders!
Food & Drink
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