There are some things that just need to be good, and not great. We don’t need our chicken shops to have white tablecloths and silverware, and we certainly don’t need our Jason Statham films to have a plot. Polpetto is a little bit like that - it does so many things well that it doesn’t really need to be the best at any one thing.
This Italian restaurant in the centre of Soho does small plates like meatballs, tasty little plates of pasta, mini-pizzas, and grilled seafood. The food at Polpetto’s very tasty, and although you might not write a poem about those meatballs later, it’s more than up to the task of making you happy - you’ll slurp down a plate of pappardelle and before you know it, your waiter will place a plate of crispy zucchini fries on the table for you and your mates to demolish. It’s simple and satisfying.
The memorable atmosphere is what really brings us back, though. The vibe is all flickering candlelight, wood panelling, and smushed-together tables, creating the sort of intimacy that works well for dates and catch ups over a few negronis.
That intimacy is also what makes Polpetto perfect for the sort of evening when you haven’t made plans, everywhere in Soho’s packed, and there’s no way you’re waiting two hours to sit down. It’s often easy to get a table as a walk-in, and it’s saved us more times than we can remember. Make tracks here when you’ll settle for food that’s good, and don’t necessarily need great.