Polpetto, 49 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 5BG

A bit of background in case you haven’t heard about this place. Polpetto (means “small octopus” in Italian) is the smaller, younger sister of Polpo (“octopus“) which opened in Soho to fantastic reviews. Little sister Polpetto is above the French House on Dean Street, a pub full of character and rammed to the rafters with squiffy media types, so named as it was home to the expat French resistance during the war (I love the French House – it gets a mention in my homage to Dean Street here). Both make Venetian bacaro food – shared small tapas-style plates (many of you will have eaten this in Venice. I went to Venice and ate in McDonalds, which is why you should never go to Venice as a skint student). Both have a no-reservations for dinner policy which is good for them but means I have tried and failed to eat at Polpo several times.

Relaxed, retro and romantic inside

However, Emmissima and I went to Polpetto at around 7pm last Friday and got a table straight away, a nice one by the window. In fact there were no groaning queues the entire time we were there. And it’s lovely inside – you wander up narrow wooden stairs past old framed photos to a small, intimate, dimly lit restaurant which could be in Brussels or Paris, filled with couples and friends. (Apparently it looks like a New York West Village resto too – am long overdue a trip). I was impressed that even though it was busy, you can take your time to eat, there’s no rush or hassle or table-turning nonsense that can ruin an evening out. So we ordered a bottle of Sangiovese (£16.50) – which you drink in cute little wine glasses – and went about ordering.

We started with polpetti (£3) and white bean crostino (£1)  – both delicious but tiny which was understandable if you consider the price. Then the flank steak with rocket and white truffle cream (£7) which was absolutely gorgeous – perfectly tender meat and the truffle cream was delicious. Decent sized portion too. And then a bit of a wierd one – I ordered cuttlefish in its ink (£7.50) because (a) I have never to my knowledge eaten cuttlefish nor (b) anything cooked in its own ink. This was a bit of a mistake – the cuttlefish was lovely but the ink was black and thick and gloopy and stained our tongues and lips and teeth. I also had flashbacks to ingesting half a fountain pen refill capsule at school and panicked a little bit. Probably a bit over-inky and in any event not something to order on date night. I’m still glad I tried it though. We finished with proscuitto and fig bruschetta (£7.50) which were again simple and delicious.


White bean crostino (lovely but order more than 1)

Bloody delicious flank steak with white truffle cream

Cuttlefish (nice) in ink gloop (stained entire mouth and still pulling out of teeth 3 hours later)

Delicious proscuitto and fig bruschetta

All in all it was £48 or £24 each for all this food and sharing a bottle of wine and we whiled away a nice relaxing two hours in the process. I will definitely be back to try more things in the menu – first on my list is the osso bucco with rissotto and the chilli prawns.

Polpetto on Urbanspoon

8 responses to “Polpetto, 49 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 5BG

  1. I loved polpetto but am laughing at your comparison to the fountain pen incident!

    • Ha! Honestly we were talking to each other with this black gloop sliming out our mouths, it was quite disgusting and our teeth were black and covered in black slime! Was not a good moment and I was just imagining what it would be like if you ate it on a DATE! I had black slime all over my lips when I left too…

      I loved it though – will go back many times I think xx

  2. oh, this has just reminded me of a holiday in ischia just off the coast of naples – i dragged my seafood-loathing boyfriend to a restaurant specialising in inky cuttlefish especially so that i could try it. the gloopy texture and cloying, mucous-y taste made me gag but i had to pretend to enjoy it after all the nagging to go there! yeugh. NEVER AGAIN.

    completely agree that the food is lovely – have you tried polpo at lunchtime on a weekend? i think from memory we were able to reserve a table then. i’ll have to get over to polpetto soon. crochette – mmm!

  3. Just ate at Polpo, excellent. Can not wait to try it’s little sister ….

  4. Pingback: New Year's Resolutions 2011 | HungryinLondon

  5. Pingback: Spuntino, 61 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 7PW | The Happiness Project London

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