Polpetto Restaurant Review

Polpetto, 11 Berwick St, W1F 0DR

A lot has changed for Florence Knight since she first became the poster girl for the new gen of chefs. Since then her cult restaurant Polpetto closed due to issues with the venue, she’s written a recipe book (One, it’s very good) and been seeking new premises to reopen Polpetto. It seems that all anyone has been able to do is watch her – waiting, wondering, hoping that her new place would launch soon, and that it would be just as good – if not better – than the sort of Polpetto review she used to get before.

Well, the wait is over, she’s back. Alongside Berwick Street fruit market in Soho, she has tucked herself into a narrow site, distressing the walls and building cosy, romantic booths, perfect to hunker down in and share her clever plates.

Florence’s food has always been billed as a Venetian take on tapas, but what she is known for is paring ingredients right back and serving them to their best advantage. Camone tomatoes, one of Polpetto’s new starters, was literally just a plate of tomatoes, but they were tickled by a lick of olive oil that set them off to perfection. Hare pappardelle was a rich, indulgent bowl of pasta, ordered to share and then re-ordered to share again – it really was that good. Pink radicchio, mustard and orange was a bitter/sweet mix of three exactly complementing flavours, whilst the contrast of juicy bacon chop with crunchy walnuts was as pleasing to bite into as it was to taste.

There’s no doubt that Florence is a star of the London food scene – the jewel in group boss Russell Norman’s crown of restaurants that also includes Polpo, Mishkins, Ape and Bird and the excellent Spuntino. Russell started off the whole retro diner/no queuing system restaurant scene that changed the face of dining, and Florence’s new Polpetto looks like the one to beat, her light touch practically floating off the plates.

Even better – it actually takes bookings at lunch time. A new cult favourite has arrived.

Average cost: £35 per head

Polpetto, 11 Berwick St, W1F 0DR