Polpo, Smithfield

I have already posted about my superb night of contemporary classical artists at Fabric here, but I got a tad carried away with myself and forgot to start my tale at the beginning; as Julie Andrews sang 'it's a very good place to start'.

On Wednesday night my partner in crime and I hopped off the train in Farringdon. We were early but eager for a night of excellent music, only to realise we had a severe rumble in our tums. Having heard brilliant things about the little Venetian eaterie, Polpo, I thought it seemed only right to nip in and see if it lived up to expectations. I can confirm it did not disappoint!

To start we shared the 'goats cheese, roast grape & honey bruschetta with pine nuts', the 'potato & parmesan crocchette' and the 'ricotta, squash & sage crostini', all washed down with a glass of Montepulciano. All were lovely but if I could only have one again it would, without a doubt, be the goats cheese bruschetta. Recommended by the waitress, it was so good that we gobbled it up too quickly and only the remnants can be seen in the picture...(sorry)

Not normally big meat eaters, we both were tempted by the 'sliced flank steak & portobello mushrooms' which came with some beautifully seasoned rocket. Not knowing about the greenery, we also opted for the 'cauliflower & fontina gratin' (as I am one of the biggest cauliflower cheese lovers known to man), 'market greens' and 'roast potatoes with rosemary'. The meat was lean, just the way I like it, so there was not a speck left on the plates once we were through with them...

Spying on the other tables showed me that the 'Fritto Misto' also looked worth noting.

A world full of savouries and no sweets would be a cruel one indeed. So to restore the balance of things we went for the 'affogato al caffe' and the 'tiramisu pot' with a pot of tea and cafe latte. The tiramisu was the most wonderful thing I have had out in a long time and any desert lover going must try it! Maybe it is because, being Italian, they use the best coffee, or maybe it was the glass of wine helping..., but our deserts really were full of flavour without sitting too heavy. Perfect in case the music took us to the dance floor later.

We were allowed to sit for just under 2 hours and the place was really getting busy when we left, but we were not rushed through any of our meal. Service was wonderfully cheery without being overpowering or pushy, the whole place (bathrooms too) was super clean and the total bill for the two of us came in at just under £70 before service charge. It isn't the sort of price I would pay daily but I think to have 3 courses, with wine and coffee, makes this pretty darn good for London. I would go out of my way to try this, or either of the other 2 Polpo sites, the next time I go into town. To clarify, I was at the Smithfield site and have not yet had an opportunity to pop into the Soho or Covent Garden restaurants (so long as they have the goats cheese bruschetta and the tiramisu, I will venture in).

I do love a good tapas style feast so if anyone has recommendations of their own, for London or the SE in general, then I would love to hear them!


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