I've been waiting patiently for Spuntino to open in Soho for months. I watched the blue Indian restaurant move on, I watched the boards go up, and I watched the workmen move in. Then I leave London for 2 and a bit weeks, and it opens.
The bloggers have been at it already, so you don't need all the details. But just in case you haven't heard, Spuntino is the 3rd restaurant in the line of gems brought to us by Russell Norman, the man behind Polpo and Polpetto.
They all have a related look and feel - brickwork, exposed lighting, industrial type fittings. But Spuntino is more rock n roll. It has a totally cool view over the neon signs and street scenes of Soho's red light district, features a New Yorkish/American inspired menu and is now the closest one to my front door which means its become my new stop out for a negroni before beef sliders and shoe string fries.
|Sliders and beet salad|
It's tiny, with seats largely limited to those around the bar meaning its best to go in 2's or 3's only (although there is a table in a small enclave at the back of the room for a larger group). We arrived at 7pm to find the seats already full, but half way through the first negroni we were seated (perhaps be optimistic if they tell you there's a one hour wait) and were ordering up from a wide selection of reasonably priced small plates.
|Oooh baby - the mac 'n cheese|
DO NOT miss the beef and marrow sliders, juicy and rich little balls of fun presented like tiny hamburgers. Fabulous. The lamb and pickle cucumber sliders are also good, as is a decent sized (even if a tad too salty) beet and ricotta salad. The mac and cheese is a cheesy powerhouse, and while it might clog up your arteries, if you're up for some serious comfort food, I've never liked a mac and cheese more. It's crispy on top and oozing with leeks, mozzarella, fontina and parmesan. Yeehaah.
The zucchini pizzetta is simple but pretty much perfect - thin and crispy with chili, mint and a lovely mild cheese.
|Peanut butter and jelly sandwich|
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dessert is also fun - a lovely jam is sandwiched between 2 wedges of peanut butter ice-cream, sprinkled with crushed sugary peanuts. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it grew on me.
We paid £65 for 2 including service, martinis (don't be fooled by the size people - they're potent), negronis and a glass of delicious Nero D'Avola (yes, they do the wine in tumbers thing which some of you don't like, but I think it works here).
Spuntino is not gourmet and it's not perfect. But both food and atmosphere are bloody good fun - I love Spuntino already.
Spuntino, 61 Rupert St, Soho, W1D 7PN (No reservations)
You can see my earlier reviews of Polpo and Polpetto here - both made my Top 10 London Restaurants 2010 list for Toptable.
PS. If you ever read this Spuntino, can we please have hooks for handbags under the bar? Ta.