Polpetto, which means an octopus in Italian, is a tiny sized restaurant sitting about 30 people, in the heart of Soho in Dean street. It is situated above a lovely pub called French house and you enter via a small wooden staircase with beautiful white and black photos on the walls.
Everything about the restaurant is small but it makes one feel like you are in the middle of the most wonderful experience that is only known to a small group of people. There is a small bar and a few small tables with old chairs that seat mostly two or four people-we were a group of six people and were very lucky to be squeezed in-beware, Polpetto takes lunch reservations but if you want to have dinner, it’s only on the first come, first served basis, no exceptions.
The menu consists of small Venetian osteria dishes and most of them are beyond exquisite. The wine list, including reds, whites or rose, comes from small producers in northern Italy. We were salivating just making the choices and most of the choices-meatballs with porcini mushrooms, white pizza, octopus in olive oil and spices, lentils with pesto and burrata (the taste stayed with me for a while because I just didn’t want to let it go, it was so fresh and so perfect!), cuttlefish in squid ink, steak with rocket and white truffle sauce-the list can go on and on, every dish turning into a small taste discovery. The only disappointment was the pigeon dish with delicious white polenta-the bird itself was almost bluey raw, which we mentioned-not only was it taken off our bill, we had desserts on the house and they-tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake with hazelnuts and roasted peaches with cream-were one of the best we have had-and believe me when I say it, me and my best friend know our desserts .)
The staff is young-two girls and a very sweet and handsome boy, who looks a little like Johny Borrell of Razorlight were my dream waiters-kind and helpful in advice but not pushy, so all in all, if you want an experience to remember, both for the atmosphere and for the food, I would highly recomend to have a date at Polpetto, which by the way only opned less than four weeks ago.