T'was my birthday the weekend just gone and the girls and I head to Da Polpo for Saturday lunch.
Much of the decor is similar to that at Polpo/Spuntino/Polpetto, other venues under the same ownership. It's relaxed and cool and most importantly the food is just as good.
I started with a spicy bloody mary and some arancini. The risotto balls were great, oozing mozzarella in the centre, creamy rice and a satisfyingly crunchy shell.
More mozzarella to follow with broad beans and citrus dressed leaves. I wasn't best pleased with the quality of the mozzarella if I'm honest, I found it rubbery in texture and lacking in flavour. This was the low point of the meal for me.
Happily other dishes arrived and were great. The pizzettas, asparagus, taleggio and speck and the zuccini and chilli went down very well. A bowl of chilli and garlic prawns with lemon were also liked, some peeled, some with shells, though my friend had to ask for a finger bowl.
Dish of the day though, must go to the piadina meatball smash. Mine with amazing spicy pork and fennel meatballs, this dish is incredibly gratifying, melting cheese, smashed chunks of meat inside a toasted flatbread served with a side salad, this really is a virtually faultless dish. Loved it.
Fit to burst I couldn't handle a dessert proper so went in for a sgroppino, a peach/prosecco/sorbet concoction which was refreshing, light and the perfect end to another fantastic meal at one of Russell Norman's joints. My gal pals sampled a selection of ices, all brilliant, vanilla ice cream, cherry fro yo and lemon sorbet.
You can book for weekend lunch but, on this occasion, it wasn't necessary. A downstairs dining area and the non-Soho location testament to diners here on Maiden Lane not being affected by increasingly familiar restaurant queues. Or perhaps it's still early days and word still has to get out. At remarkably decent prices, we paid about £30pp, it won't be long until the crowds are flocking.
6 Maiden Lane