Searching for a decent, but reasonable, eatery last week for dinner with a client, I remembered Polpo in Soho; an immensely popular Italian tapas restaurant.
If you head that way (Beak Street) on a Thursday or Friday after 7pm, you can expect to wait no less than an hour for a table but most likely, two. Pretty standard for must-have eateries in London where you can’t book. But I was surprised to find that, at 7pm on a Wednesday, there was already a queue (someone must have opened their big mouth about the place…). We were about to join the rest of the ravenous crowd around the bar when two bar seats became available so we plonked ourselves down and ordered in the G&Ts (slimline tonic but full-fat gin ta very much).
Although the service was a bit rubbish to begin with, the bar kept us entertained (great place to sit by the way in case you think it’s a poor relative to the main restaurant) and we were soon tucking in to goats cheese bruscetta with roasted grapes honey and walnuts (a MUST), cuttlefish and ink risotto (hummm…questionable), grilled flank steak (yum), calamari (good) and roast potatoes….ok, I know the last one sounds like sacrilege but we needed a vegetable and they were delicious sautéed ones sprinkled with rosemary for an earthy Italian-esk taste! And all washed down with a lovely bottle of Barbera, Riva Leone 2008.
The vibe is busy but chilled, friendly and above-all, it feels like you could be in the middle of the Mediterranean. A definite must-visit for a relaxed but entertaining meal.