Small Plate, Big Smiles
When: April 2013
Another day another lunch... The sun is out and it feels like the warmest day since the Olympics. After an energising walk to the West End it was time for a quick lunch. We decided upon Polpo, a trendy, small plates Italian (or to use their description, Venetian Street Food) restaurant. The fun thing about a lunch out in Soho is the mix of clients; fashionable and traditional, young and old. Being a lovely summery day the restaurant's windows were wide open at the front welcoming us into the depths of the restaurant. The design is rustic tiles, chairs and wooden tables. We were promptly shown to our table and given menus, our waitress was friendly, smiley and enthusiastic about the food and it felt very genuine. The fact that the restaurant was largely full the whole time we were there and that the service charge was added to the bill made the good service all the more surprising, no miserable through the motions chain restaurant staff here.
We had a look through the menu. For drinks there were a range of cocktails, spirits, wines and juices. We went with a Birra Moretti and an apple juice (interestingly served with a wedge of lime). The lunch menu was used as a place mat and was divided up into various sections: meatballs, pizzette, Fish, Meat, Salads/Veg and sweet stuff. We went with spaghettini and meatballs and a pork shoulder and pickled pepper pizzette. After a short wait the food and drinks were served with smiles. The meatballs were large, moist and meaty, the spaghettini was just the right side of al dante and the tomato sauce was deep red and flavourful. The pizzetti was light and crisp, the cheese strong and contrasted nicely with the acidity of the lightly spiced pickled peppers and the thin crisp slices of pork shoulder.
Next up was dessert and we both went with the flourless orange and almond cake. This was an outstandingly good, soft cake, with a thick dollop of cream, orange zest and an orange sauce on the side. It was heaven on a plate and after eating this we will more than likely be returning, perhaps with more time to try a few of the meatier options. I downed my rich espresso, we paid, we smiled, we left. Another great and simple lunch that made me want to come back for more.