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Polpo is the first of a wave of casual no-reservations eateries from Russell Norman, currently London's hottest young restaurateur.
The restaurant's design and menu is based on the wine bar/cafés of Venice and Northern Italy (bacaros), and you'll find simple, unfussy Northern Italian dishes and good wines served in unpretentious tumblers.
On the menu, you'll find a lot of small plates to share - so think crostini (little topped pieces of toasted Italian bread), a diverse selection of salami and cured meat and a few larger plates like slow-cooked pork belly and Venetian-style calf's liver (seriously good) - this isn't the liver your mum forced you to eat.
Polpo can sometimes be a victim of its own success owing to its party-friendly style of dining and Soho location, so expect to wait before being seated. Once in though, you're almost guaranteed a fun and buzzy night. And, if Soho isn't a convenient spot for you, there's always Smithfield and Covent Garden, where the other branches of Polpo are conveniently tucked away.
Monday to Saturday:
Noon - 11pm
Noon - 4pm
41 Beak Street, Soho, W1F 9SBView Larger Map
- Moderately Priced