Monday 10th February - After a boozy wine tasting at Central & Co with Pacta Connect Wines (more on that later), Maggie, Natalie and I were in dire need of some food. Conveniently, Florence Knight's Polpetto has finally landed in Berwick Street and the crowds haven't found it yet.
Londoners have been impatiently waiting for Polpetto to return after it was moved on from the little room above The French House. The Berwick Street site fortunately has room for 70 (compared to 23 last time!) but I'm sure it will be packed soon enough.
I would head over to Polpetto sooner rather than later if I were you, as I'm sure people will be queuing by the weekend. Save room for dessert!
|Polpetto - Berwick Street|
We mulled over the menu with refreshing Rhubarb & Rose Bellinis and a Cynar Gin Fizz. The rhubarb swizzle garnish was so good that we asked for a separate bowl of them. We eventually made our minds up, ordering 5 large plates and 2 sides between three of us which proved to be the right amount. This was helped by the delicious complimentary focaccia made on site, and a plate of fresh tomatoes that the kitchen was eager to show off.
|Polpetto - Tomatoes, Rhubarb Bellinis and Menu|
Scallops, cauliflower & lardo was a great success - the cauliflower crisp worked perfectly with the soft scallops. Beetroot, Gorgonzola & poppy seeds was another favourite, bursting with flavour. I'm always excited when Hare Pappardelle is on a menu, though less keen on sharing it with others - thankfully there was plenty to go around. The Bacon chop, whitty pear butter & walnuts portion is also generous considering the £9 price tag.
Sides of Pink fir potatoes & cuckoo flower and lentils were smartly matched with particular dishes, and good value at £3.50. The Wet Polenta doesn't sound appealing but we heard positive reviews from other diners. All of the savoury dishes came to an impressive £15/head - make sure to come in a group to make the most of the sharing menu.
|Polpetto - Hare Pappardelle, Bacon Chop, Scallops and Mussels|
We couldn't resist ordering from a tempting dessert menu. Maple tart, Fried pecorino & honey, and Milk pudding with rhubarb & rose soon arrived. I preferred the "no added sugar" Maple Tart, but all three were well received. We appreciated a subtle rather than overpowering hit of rose in the wobbly Milk Pudding, and the Fried pecorino & honey works well, even if it is not the most attractive dish of the evening. It was noticeable throughout the evening that presentation was never over the top, allowing one to focus on the wonderful cooking underneath.
|Desserts at Polpetto - Maple Tart, Milk Pudding & Fried Pecorino|
Our only criticism of the evening was that service was so efficient that there was no time for wine! No sooner had our bellinis arrived than the food started piling up. A little more time after ordering might be advisable, but we had already tasted our fair share of wine earlier in the evening so it didn't bother us greatly.
|Valentine's Day at Polpetto?|
|Polpetto - Photo Credit : Carol Sachs|
|Polpetto - Berwick Street|
I should quickly mention the wonderful wine tasting that we dropped into before Polpetto. Central & Co kindly invited us down to try out some fantastic wines from the Adriatic with Pacta Connect Wines. The charming Judith and Trevor presented us with several Croatian, Slovenian & Italian wines, and taught us a thing or two along the way.
The unfiltered boxed Castello di Lispida particularly impressed, especially as the carbon footprint is minimal and you can carry 13 bottles worth with ease in two hands. A quick look at their website tells me that they have a wine bar in the castle itself - time to book flights to Padua methinks.
A far-too-easy-drinking Cattunar Chardonnay is Pacta's best seller and Judith described it as their ABC converter - one for the Anything But Chardonnay crowd. I also tried my first Orange wine - an unusual dry wine made from grapes that have spent more maceration time in contact with grape skins.
|Wine tasting with Pacta Connect Wines at Central & Co|
Thanks to everyone at Pacta Connect Wines and Central & Co for hosting such a lovely event!