A meal here always starts with a basket of moreish bread sticks, creamy hummus and a salty tapenade. If you’re lucky – or eat it fast enough – this will even be replenished swiftly before you order your starters.
The menu changes daily, but you’ll find light tapas items to kick things off, or bigger appetisers like risotto and pink prawns. Soups might include the likes of spicy chickpea-and-chorizo, which offers a pleasant, lingering heat. For mains, pulled lamb gnocchi is cloud-like and comes with a rich sauce of tomatoes, peas and artichokes. Vegetarians are also always catered for with dishes like generously filled butternut lasagna. If you’re here on a date, order the paella to share. The crème brûlée for dessert never disappoints.
A board labelled ‘wine friends’ will keep enthusiasts happy with some great local bottles and new wine gems. Kudos for a well-assembled and interesting selection of well-known and off-the-radar wines at very reasonable mark-ups. And an extra pat on the back for the range of quality wines offered by the glass. What a pity that my two first choices were out of stock! However, the service is friendly and knowledgeable on the extensive wine list.
The welcome was rather abrupt, with a hand waving us to sit anywhere in a largely empty room, despite the fact that we had booked well in advance. But the broad smile from the staff and willingness to please more than made up for that.
The décor is Bistro 101, with brown paper tablecloths and smallish tables close to each other. This is one of those restaurants that needs people to create the atmosphere.
The sidewalk tables are great for people-watching in summer; and the standing gas heaters are a welcome addition in the winter.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.