D and I love Russell Norman and all who sail in him.
We first went to Polpo back in November 2011 and rather enjoyed it. Since then he has opened a number of other venues, most of which we have also visited and liked very much. I had a top notch Reuben sandwich at Mishkin's (this was back in the days before we made these regularly at home), adored the truffled egg toast at Spuntino's, and had a rather good pink gin at Ape and Bird. This latter venue is worth a visit if only to go and listen to episodes of Blackadder while you make use of the facilities. Mr Norman seems to be very good at creating appealing and interesting places to eat at a price point which is not too ridiculous for Central London.
On Saturday, finding ourselves at a slightly hungry loose end come half past two, we popped to the Covent Garden branch of Polpo for a few reviving plates. It's a great venue if you're peckish but don't want a full on meal because you can order as many dishes as suits your appetite. And given the fact that the venue was still full and buzzy at the tail end of lunchtime, clearly we were not the only people who thought so.
We had a selection of cicheti:
Pig's head crostini:
And a couple of dolcetti, chocolate salami and honey ricotta cannoli, with coffee:
It's not flawless food: the pig's head could have been a bit more porky (as it was, the capers and mustard overwhelmed the meat element slightly) and the fritto misto was marginally under seasoned (although I do tend to over salt fried food so this could just be personal preference). But the linguine, in particular, was excellent and overall the food here is fun to choose and fun to eat. We approve.
Polpo Covent Garden
6 Maiden Lane
020 7836 8448