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Launched in early 2017, Symposium is a friendly, pared-back Italian-owned deli-café-bar and wine shop. Along with nearby Bacaro, it provides further proof of Bow’s increasing gentrification. Here, daytime coffees, panini and pastries make way for a raft of aperitivo-hour Spritzes, various takes on the Negroni, and craft ales from East London Brewery and Arechi in Salerno. There’s also a notable collection of predominantly Italian wines: from jaunty Calabrian red by the glass, to juicy, joyful, full-bodied Puglian red, Polvanera Aglianico IGT 2009 at just under £50. Mark-ups are modest. Antipasti, cheeses and charcuterie account for the bar snacks while typical informal suppers might involve ribollita (rustic Tuscan vegetable and bread soup) or ox tongue carpaccio with rocket salad, followed by rabbit alla cacciatore, beef meatballs in sweet-potato sauce, or vegetable lasagne with artichoke and puzzone (‘stinky’) di Moena cheese. End proceedings with rich dark chocolate and pistachio cake.
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