Polpo – Sohopeful, So Good

Polpo
41 Beak Street
London W1F 9SB
Website
Map
Reservations are taken for lunch: +44 (0)20 7734 4479

  • Cicchetti & Crostini £1-2, Bread Dishes ~£4, Meats Dishes £5-11, Fish Dishes £5-7, Cheese ~£4, Vegetables & Salads £3-4, Desserts £2-5
  • For the full set of photos, please visit my Flickr account (Meal 1, Meal 2)

A Venetian bacaro meets Lower East Side Manhattan bar, Polpo has a lovely buzzy atmosphere and relaxed but professional service in the middle of London’s Soho. The food is simple, with most dishes employing five ingredients or less, and is executed very well on the whole, with some real standouts. It’s also not overly expensive if you can reign yourself in from the tempting offerings. I really wanted to like Polpo, and after two long lunches there, am pleased to say that it is a place I really enjoy being at, and intend to frequent in the future.

Getting ready for cicchetti

Having just written about another Soho restaurant that offers good value for money, I am happy to be scribbling about another one which I recently discovered. Somewhat to my surprise, I was not the last London food blogger to visit the rather new and ever-popular Polpo. Indeed, it appeared that a twitter ‘friend’ I had communicated with virtually for some time had also not been (I know, the travesty), and it seemed like an apt time and place for a lunch with @KaveyF, the woman behind Kavey Eats.

I had a lot of preconceived notions and high expectations about this place. Firstly, the response from bloggers that I generally tend to agree with had been decidedly mixed. Secondly, having been to Venice a number of times and understanding the bacari that Polpo presumably purports itself to be modelled after, I was cynical about how well they would be able to carry out this concept in central London, without the ethereal magic of the Venetian canals and architecture. (As a side note, it is quite a neat coincidence that Polpo does happen to sit right beneath the plaque marking the spot where Canaletto, the Venetian painter, lived in London – see photo below).

It may not have Venice’s canals, but Polpo does reside below Canaletto’s plaque

There are very few places in London that offer proper cicchetti (pronounced ‘chi-ket-ee’), and I went to one just after starting this blog, which was a posher incarnation of the concept but wasn’t half bad (just a bit pricey). At their heart, cicchetti are very small plates of simple food that Venetians typically have from anytime in the very late morning through to mid-to-late afternoon at local bars (bacari), and they are normally accompanied by a small glass of wine. From my own experience, they are typically eaten at the bar standing up, or possibly on a stool or outside the bacaro if it is a warm day, maybe overlooking the canal. In fact, the icon that I use for my online avatar is the shop-front of a very nice little bacaro that I happened upon while staying in the relatively quiet and peaceful Accademia neighborhood on my last visit to Venice. It’s mostly frequented by locals and is quite traditional. They sell wine on a retail basis, offer some by the glass and a range of snacks to eat with the small glasses of wine they serve. I love the whole concept and ethos of snacking in Venice, so was hoping that Polpo wouldn’t screw around with the simple and successful formula too much.

Polpo’s proprietor, Russell Norman, was formerly Operations Director at Caprice Holdings (Richard Caring’s dining empire, which continues to expand rapidly…and internationally as of late) and, as such, has a lot of experiencing opening new restaurants and making them successful. He says that his two main inspirations for the restaurant were the bacari of Venice and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Tribeca and Soho, where he saw a particular type of place to eat and socialize that didn’t exist in London.

The place certainly opened with a bang, and much was made of Russell’s proactive use of twitter right through the time leading up to the opening, and then during the eventual launch of the restaurant. Despite the reservations of some bloggers and critics, I was still excited to see what the place would be like, especially after having looked through the window many times on visits to other nearby haunts – one of my current favorite hang-outs in London is Bob Bob Ricard, which is literally just across the narrow Beak street.

Made for Manhattan?

I arrived at Polpo just about on time, as is my wont. Kavey had already arrived, though, and it turned out she had come prepared. Now I don’t just mean that she had read a few blog posts, reviews and looked at the online menu and therefore had a good idea of what she might want to order. No, the girl had a very large Excel spreadsheet in a very small font size which cross-referenced the dishes on the website ample menu against what some of her trusted bloggers thought of each dish. I was impressed, but also slightly scared 🙂 and we had a good chuckle over it…but it did prove very useful.

Polpo, Inside n' Out

The menus were the place-mats, so we didn’t have to undergo the often annoying wait for menus to be given and explained to us. And I have to say, it all sounded very appetizing.

The menu of the day – loved the font and crinkly brown paper

We asked our lovely waitress how many dishes she recommended ordering and I was slightly surprised at the number of dishes she thought we should have (basically a lot). Having said that, my dining companion was happy to go along with it, and I was eager to taste as much as we could, so we went with her advice of 3 cicchetti and four larger plates.

2008 “Polpo” Pinot Bianco (Valle) & San Bitter Red

For drinks, Kavey ordered a beautiful little red Italian soda drink called San Bitter Red (yeah, you guessed it, from the folks at San Pellegrino) while I opted for a 1/4 liter of their house white (it literally seems to be bottled for them). The wine was crisp, acidic and refreshing, and certainly wasn’t over complex. I realized I had misread the wine list as I actually wanted the one listed below the house wine (a Trebbiano-Garganega white) but couldn’t be bothered to change as the Pinot Bianco was perfectly quaffable. The wine list is relatively short and all Italian, but the great thing about it is that you can have any of them in a quarter or half liter carafe, in addition to the bottle. It’s clever business also, as they don’t serve wine by the glass so probably take a better margin overall.

Our plate of cicchetti

Our plate of cicchetti

The cicchetti arrived and looked appetizing, although I think we were both surprised by how small they actually were, particularly the arancini and grissini. But we didn’t have too much to worry about (literally).

Arancini, Chopped Chicken Liver, Salami & Pickled Radicchio Grissini

My favorite of the lot was the chopped chicken liver, which was spread across a slice of nice crusty bread. It was rich without being overly irony and the texture was perfectly smooth and moist. From what I understand, the kitchen has a general policy of not having more than 4-5 ingredients in most of the dishes, and here this purity worked well, as the prime ingredient (the liver) came through nicely. 8/10.

The arancini were also excellent, nice and crisp on the outside and nearly grease-less. Inside, there was a creamy risotto center, with enough bite left in the rice and what seemed to be a morsel of melted mozzarella, along with some herbs. Although it was only one or two bites, I enjoyed it a lot and could have probably had 5-10 quite comfortably. 8/10.

The grissini was definitely a bit of a letdown by comparison. Firstly, it was truly a paltry portion for £2, and I didn’t think the ingredients worked that brilliantly together. In fact, although the meal wasn’t that long ago, I am struggling to remember what it tasted like. 5/10.

Rabbit, Sage & Apricot Terrina

The terrina was a solid plate of food. The flavors all came together nicely – with the sweetness of the apricot complimenting the slightly gamey richness of the rabbit – and it had a nice spreadable yet chunky texture. It was a good portion size for the price too, and I liked the little side of pickled cucumbers and onions. 7/10.

Fritto Misto

I was pretty impressed with the fritto misto, which is often done very badly. These were not greasy at all, and very crisp. The seafood all tasted fresh, the prawns were sweet and the squid was moist and not at all chewy. It was a lovely little pile of fried fish and, while it doesn’t compare to the real thing in Venice (my favorite is at Ristorante Fiaschetteria Toscana) or even the excellent version of it at L’Anima, it was very good. 7/10.

Pork Belly, Radicchio & Hazelnuts

The pork belly was somewhat surprisingly my least favorite of the larger plates we had. I found the pork flavor to be too strong, but maybe this is just a personal thing for me (?). I understood what they were trying to achieve with the bitter (radicchio) and sweet (hazelnut) combination, but it didn’t quite work for me. The textures and the cooking were good, but I just didn’t enjoy it all that much and have struggled to put a finger on it, so to speak. 5/10.

Cuttlefish in its Ink & Gremolata

The cuttlefish on the other hand was a bit of a revelation. I was always scared of ordering this jet-black dish when in Venice, and when I finally did, it was a horrible rendition that put me off the idea for a long time. I am very glad I braved it on this occasion, as Polpo’s version is superb. I found the sauce to be very delicate despite its rather thick consistency, and the cuttlefish had also been handled with the same care. I found it a bit surreal to be so eagerly scoffing something that looked like a pile of prawn sick District 9 (well, that’s not quite fair, it was ‘pretty’ with the strong black and bright green gremolata contrast, but just not all that appetizing for an uninitiated non-Venetian like me). Anyway, it was a great dish. 8/10.

Roast Potatoes & Rosemary

Another revelation was their roasted potatoes. These were simply and masterfully done, thick and crunchy on the outside, soft, fluffy and flavorsome on the inside, with just the right amount of rosemary hit. A great side of carbs. 8/10.

Flourless Orange & Almond Cake with Mascarpone

It kept getting better from there. The flourless orange and almond cake was one of the best cakes I’ve had in a good while, full stop. It was moist and bursting with flavor, and when eaten in concert with a dollop of mascarpone and a bite of the candied orange peel, it was heaven. I think it was those crispy, candied numbers and thick syrup that made the difference. For me, this was the best dessert you could hope for in a casual restaurant like Polpo, and I don’t even usually like this type of thing to finish a meal. It certainly ran circles around a similar dessert I had at Jamie’s Italian. 10/10.

Galani Pick-me-up

After enquiring as to what the Galani Pick-me-up actually was (I knew galani a type of crisp Italian dough, but not much more), and being informed that it was “sort of like a crisp tiramisu with coffee flavored cream and chocolate sauce,” I didn’t hesitate for an instant. I’m glad I had asked too, because this was nearly, if not equally, as good as the cake. The most interesting thing about this dessert was the intenseness of the coffee flavor in the cream. The rich yet slightly bitter cream was the perfect foil for the sweeter chocolate sauce and the crispy fried dough provided the necessary crunch to hold it all together, and to hold interest. The portion was humongous and I did find towards the end that it had become a bit much of the same to eat, but still managed to polish it off, from memory. 9/10.

Single Espresso

I needed an espresso before heading back to the office, and it was very good, with a nice crema and served warm and not too tight (condensed). I noticed that they ground the beans each time they made a coffee, which was a good sign, and the flavor of the espresso was nicely balanced between floral and caramel.

I needed another ‘pick-me-up’

Over the last bank holiday Monday, Mrs. LF and I were getting quite hungry and felt like going out for something to eat. We couldn’t decide on where to go, but then she recommended “that Italian place in Soho that you’ve been going on about” and that was that. I knew there was a reason I married the woman – she consistently reminds me of my own brilliance. 🙂

Green Apple Juice, Mint, Ginger & 2008 Pieropan Soave

We got there in the middle of lunch service without a booking, but I still couldn’t believe it was so packed on a bank holiday. We managed to get a seat at the bar straight away, though, luckily. The bar stools were very comfortable to sit in and I always think it’s a nice way to eat when there are two of you. Like Kavey, Mrs. LF ordered a soft drink (hers consisted of apple juice, mint and ginger), while I splurged on a slightly fancier wine this time, the 2008 Pieropan Soave, a producer I know well. Although it is their entry-level wine, it is still a good one, and went down well on the sunny afternoon.

Our selection of cicchetti: Arancini, Salami & Radicchio Grissini, Potato & Parmesan Crocchetta, Chopped Chicken Liver, White Anchovy & Tapenade Egg

We ordered a bunch of cicchetti to start with. The arancini and chopped chicken liver were equally as good this time around. New items included a potato and parmesan crocchetta, which Mrs. LF found to be very “moreish, rich and satisfying – exactly what you want in a croquet.” She gave it a 9/10.

Of the white anchovy, tapenade and egg, Mrs. LF said that “…it was nothing to get excited about. It was basically chopped green olives and an anchovy set on top of a boiled egg. While the egg had been boiled recently, maybe the dish could have benefitted from a different cooking of the egg, with it being slightly runnier, for instance. Also, the tapenade wasn’t a tapenade (as advertised on the menu) in the sense that it was just chopped green olives and didn’t deliver in flavor what a real tapenade could have done. To me, it was kind of a waste of space on the menu as it’s not something you’d come back and re-order, but rather something you order by mistake – and the title of the dish should probably be changed as it can be misleading.” 5/10.

Despite my previous experience, Mrs. LF wanted to order the salami and radicchio grissini. She thought that the combination of salami and the pickled radicchio worked really well, and enjoyed it more than I had on the previous occasion. However, she did agree that for £2 there should really be at least two served on the plate. She gave it a 7/10 for the taste.

Arancini

I thought I’d include another photo of the lovely arancini as l liked this image a lot. 🙂

Bittersweet Mackerel, Pinenuts, Raisins

We both liked our first bite of the cold mackerel dish. It was definitely more bitter than sweet. It seemed everything had been pickled to some extent as even the raisins, which I had expected to provide the ‘sweet’, were vinegary. It helped that the sloppy little pyramid lay on a base of toasted bread, which lent some necessary contrast to the sharpness of the other elements. The problem for me with this dish was that, after about six or seven bites, it was just too sour and too sharp, and I had trouble finishing it off, even with the bread. While we both enjoyed it to some extent (Mrs. LF more than me), and there was nothing wrong with it, we felt it would have done much better by being served in smaller portions. Mrs. LF said that “It would be great to have this kind of dish as finger food, when you have a little bite now and again over an hour or two. But as a larger dish it’s too vinegary, and you lose interest after a while.” 6/10.

Fritto Misto

I’ve already commented on the fritto misto above, and it was also good on the second visit, although the squid were slightly tougher than the first time I had them.

Grilled & Sliced Flank Steak with White Truffle Cream

Mrs. LF had ordered the flank steak, which came grilled and sliced on a bed of rocket and was dressed with a white truffle cream. She said: “It had a really good steaky flavor and had been cooked to my specification (unfortunately, medium as I am pregnant!). However, the meat was a bit tough and I had to chew it for a long time to break it down before swallowing the steak. The white truffle cream was absolutely delicious and made a perfect accompaniment for the red meat and salad. I must say that the rocket leaves themselves were very fresh, especially for a bank holiday Monday. I am always slightly suspicious and paranoid about salad leaves not being washed properly in restaurants, especially on bank holidays, and also hate when they are soggy and/or old. For example, on the last bank holiday, I ordered a Caesar salad at a well-known small burger chain in central London and the leaves were brown, soggy and clearly not fresh – but my fears were allayed straight away at Polpo. The dish was really good, apart from the meat being a little too chewy.” 7/10.

Flourless Orange & Almond Cake with Mascarpone

I had to have the orange and almond cake again as I had been dreaming of it some nights (literally). Mrs. LF was not let down either, despite my copious amounts of hype. She said it was “…amazing, such a memorable dessert. In fact, I can still taste it now if I close my eyes and can feel the texture in my mouth.” She said that the next time we have a dinner party she’d like to go into the restaurant and ask if they can make a whole cake for us! I wouldn’t stop her, it is bloody fantastic. My only quibble was that, on this occasion, it was severely lacking in the crisp, candied orange peel bits that had been sprinkled generously around my previous slice a few weeks before. These are really important to the dessert, so I would urge them to ensure they are consistent in this department.

Affogato al Caffé

I was tempted to have the Galani Pick-me-up again, but after remembering how big it was, opted for the more modest affogato al caffé, which provided roughly the same flavor combination (sans the chocolate) in a pretty little package. There’s not much to say about it; it was a perfectly fine affogato, though I would have preferred a smidgen more ice cream, but hey, I’m greedy. 6.5/10.

Getting ‘it’ right

After sampling a number of dishes over two long lunches at Polpo, I must say that really enjoy being in the place. They have gotten a lot of things right. The atmosphere is vibrant. The design is funky and spot-on, with loving attention to detail evident through features, such as the choice of hanging light-bulbs and the little sink behind the front bar. The service is relaxed and friendly yet at the same time attentive, informative and professional. And, for a very busy restaurant, the staff are remarkably efficient, keep their energy up and don’t seemed phased by anything. The food is generally very good also. I didn’t have any truly ‘dud’ dishes on either occasion (though some could use some tweaking), and some of the food was downright spectacular – in fact, Mrs. LF and I have been getting hungry looking back at the photos as we write this post.

I think it’s very important to remember that this is a casual Italian eatery serving very simple food and, on that basis, I think it succeeds marvellously. It is certainly better than what you’ll get at other places in London serving similar fare within the same price bracket, and the fact that it has a sense of individuality, purpose and integrity about it makes Polpo stand out for me against other such offerings. Speaking of integrity, it is certainly not a true Venetian bacaro as it is primarily a sit-down restaurant that has a lot of thing besides cicchetti on the menu, and in truth, the design does lean more towards the Lower East Side of Manhattan than the backstreets of Venice, although there are some Venetian features which have been sympathetically rendered.

Oh, one more thing, it’s not very expensive either. My lunch with Mrs. LF ended up being £26 per head, including one of the pricier carafes of wine (£10 for a 1/4 liter), and my lunch with Kavey came in only slightly higher at £29 per head. In the latter lunch, we had three cicchetti, four larger plates, one side dish, two desserts, a soft drink, a carafe of house wine and an espresso (and this included service) – not bad in my estimation.

It’s no surprise to me that there are plans to open a second restaurant in a similar vein in the very near future. It is to be called Spuntino and you can follow the developments on twitter or on the new place’s blog.

If you haven’t been to Polpo, I highly recommend it for a nice casual place to go and have a good time. But don’t think it will be more than that and don’t expect complicated, nuanced, high-end food – that’s not what they’re there for.

Rating

Ambience: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Food: 7/10

Wine: a small but carefully chosen little all Italian line-up, and as mentioned above, the best thing about it is that everything is available by the quarter or half liter, as well as by the bottle.

For more about my rating scale, click here.

*Note: I have dined at Polpo twice, and both times it was for lunch.*

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Cicchetti at Cecconi’s

Cecconi’s
5a Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3EP
Website
Map
Online Reservations

Pleasant surroundings, very Italian service, decent eats & wine, but a bit overpriced

Pleasant surroundings, very Italian service, decent eats & wine, but a tad overpriced

The Background

On Friday night, after the end of a rather long week, I met up with the missus and a dear friend near Piccadilly. We decided it was high time for a drink, and maybe a bit to eat (well, I was hungry, so I insisted on going someplace that had food – but what else is new).

There was one place I had walked by probably over 100 times, and had always been curious about, but never ventured into. Cecconi’s is a posh looking Italian place just behind The Royal Academy of Arts on Burlington Gardens. Mrs. LF had been there once for a drink aeons ago and said it was pleasant, so we said what the hell. And thus, we stepped into the classy jade green and black interior and rolled the proverbial dice.

Unfortunately, we didn’t spot Madonna, so you can stop reading now if that was your only interest in this post :). Cecconi’s is apparently one of her preferred hang-outs, but I suppose the poor girl must have more pressing issues on her mind these days than going for an Italian (meal, that is). The restaurant was originally set up in London in 1978 by Enzo Cecconi, the youngest-ever manager at Cipriani in Venice, who came to the capital to introduce the British to a taste of Italy, including the now world-famous Bellini from Harry’s Bar. Also interesting to note is that they have now set up another branch of Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, California earlier this year. So they can’t be doing too badly. But I digress…onto the food and vino.

The Preamble

After they noticed we had walked in, we were met by a slightly preoccupied but brusquely pleasant young woman, and we told her we would like a table for three. She immediately asked if we had booked, and when we said no, we tried to tell her we just wanted to have some light bites and wine near the bar (this area looked far more pleasant than the back of the restaurant, and also more casual as they hadn’t put table clothes and the full works on the nice black tables yet). However, she went away and began discussing this annoying request with one of her colleagues. We just about caught her before she had managed to get through the trauma of setting a new, unexpected table, and told her we just wanted to sit at one of the big round tables in the bar. At which point she seemed to relax a little bit, and said “oh, well you should have told me that”…I think you kind of get my drift.

The Food & Wine

So we were eventually seated, and then promptly met by a young Italian waiter who wanted to know what we wanted to drink, after just having given us the menus. Okay, this is one of my pet peeves (that’s American for ‘pet hates’), so I’ll just get that out there in the open. Why do waiters – pretty much everywhere – ask you straight away what you’d like to drink? Personally, I like to peruse the food menu, look at a cocktail or wine list and then decide after a few minutes. I guess a lot of people actually know what they want straight away – perhaps they normally order a gin and tonic – but I never know before having had a think and a look around. But anyway, I digress again. We told him to give us a few minutes.

Before we went in, we noticed on the menu posted outside that they had a range of cicchetti available, which quietly excited me as I have not come across another place in London which serves these Italian version of tapas. After many trips to Venice, I really have come to love the idea of having a glass or two of wine in the afternoon and munching on some of these simple yet tasty morsels. We decided to get the House Selection of cicchetti (£15), and also one order of anchovy crostini (£5). For drink, we choose a 500ml carafe of 2005 Rioja Crianza (£23). It was a bit more complicated than the way I’ve described it, though, as the waiter couldn’t really tell us what was in the House Selection (he said it changes by day depending on the whim of the chef) and we wanted to make sure we didn’t order double of something if we selected things on top of the House Selection. As a side note, he also tried to pull a fast one on us by adding dishes and trying to up-sell us. But we got there in the end!

As far as the food went, it was generally pretty good. Some of the cicchetti stood out as being particularly good, and others were just sort of ho-hum. One of the really good ones was the chicken liver crostini; the pâté was rich, creamy and fully flavored, and the little toast very crisp. The other excellent plate was the Umbrian sausages with red pepper. There were two little dark sausages, which were packed with a lovely, authentic flavor, while the red peppers were roasted perfectly and had a round sweetness to them which was complemented well by the relatively thick balsamic (they probably would have been better without the skins, though, as this creates a better melt-in-the-mouth texture). The anchovy crostini were well executed, though their simplicity (literally anchovies on a small piece of toast with some olive oil) means you could do it at home just as well. The more average of the bunch were the quail’s eggs with tonné (the eggs were served cold and bit bland, but the smooth sauce underneath it was very satisfying); the mozzarella with basil & tomato (just not memorable); and crostini with diced tomatoes (same comment). The Rioja was perfectly pleasant, as usual, but maybe we should have opted for an Italian wine?!

Our waiter came by after we had finished, and by this time we had established a very tongue-in-cheek rapport with him (though we worked hard to get there!), and he actually became quite fun and pleasant to deal with. We followed these up with a full order of the chicken live crostini, some grilled asparagus, another Umbrian sausage and also two salads: roast chicken with saffron, almonds & parmesan and Dorset crab with avocado and little gem lettuce. We also topped up our livers (both chicken and human) with a carafe of 2007 Nero d’Avola / Sangiovese (£15). The asparagus was very fresh, flavorsome and well cooked, but a little pricey at 5 short sticks for £6. The salads were crisp and fresh but pretty unremarkable. The chicken was tender but not that flavorful (I certainly didn’t detect saffron), and the crab was okay but not worth having again. That said, they were £10 and £12 respectively, so not ridiculously expensive for a place like this – where you are definitely paying top-dollar for the scene – compared to £4-£8 for the cicchetti. The wine, which was the cheapest on the list, was actually very enjoyable: easy-drinking, delicate and rich, red fruit on the palate.

We topped this off by sharing a lemon tart served with mascarpone ice cream and a vanilla cheesecake with strawberries (both at £7). The tart was more than acceptable, with a good lemon sharpness and a well cooked pastry base, and the marscapone ice cream was okay, but not very strong in the flavor department (I don’t think I would have known it was mascarpone ice cream specifically if I had been blindfolded). However, it was the cheesecake that stole the show. It was a truly remarkable slice of joy. It was very creamy and rich, but with just enough firmness to hold its shape, and the biscuit bottom was superb. When you combined the strawberries with it, it was really delicious – and this is coming from someone who is not usually that big of a cheesecake fan (I know I am probably slightly odd in this regard, don’t worry).

The Verdict

Well, overall, we had a very enjoyable experience at Cecconi’s. The place looks great, and I can imagine it must be a favorite with locals who can afford to go there after work, or for business breakfasts. It is definitely a destination restaurant, in the sense that I think people must go there for the scene and the atmosphere (which is fine), and from what I could make out there is a slightly style-over-substance bent to the place. The food was good, but not amazing (although a few dishes did stand out as being very good – and the cheesecake was amazing), and is generally quite expensive for what it is. The service was very Italian (that’s the best way I can describe it), as they were a bit off with us to begin with – possibly because they didn’t know us and/or we had just walked in from off the street? – but eventually became friendly and efficient. The food also came out quickly and at a good pace. We did not have any of their ‘proper’ food, so I cannot attest to how good the pastas, meat, fish, etc. are, although the few pasta dishes that I did see at tables next to us looked and smelled very good. I don’t think I’d make a point of going back to try the full menu, although if I were in the area and needed a place to eat with some friends, I’d certainly consider it. But I think what we did – informal drinks and snacks in the bar area – was perfectly pleasant and a good idea for a small group of people. It was a very convivial, comfortable and fun place to be.

Rating

Ambience: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Food: 6/10

Wine: 7/10

For more about my rating scale, click here.

*Note: I have only been to Cecconi’s once, and only had the cicchetti, not the à la carte menu.*

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