Fantastic little Italian restaurant located in a basement on Borough High St.
Dark and warming, candlelit with cool pictures on the walls.
This old family run restaurant seems to have a fair bit of history about it and has been established for a long time. The atmosphere is very cosy and welcoming - without being stereotypical it kind of reminds me of a restaurant the Italian Mafia or Gangsters would have a meeting and meal in. There is live Jazz music. I have been told there is Elvis and Sinatra themed music most days of the week. The menu is awesome as is the wine selection. We had Garlic bread for starter and i had the Ravioli Lobster and Crab in a creamy tomato sauce with prawns - simply delicious. We shared a bottle of Shiraz Sicilia, which was a very fruity wine.
Their slogan is 'Eat well, Drink well and feel well' - and i certainly achieved all three!
There is a blackboard with a selection of specials. The Restaurant is populated by couples having an intimate meal and groups of friends/family.
The prices are fairly reasonable - this place is one to try!
Strangest experience --
The food was very basic Italian.
The uninspired house salad had mixed greens with tomatoes and cheese. The dressing was poured on at the table from the waitress -- olive oil.
The house wine was lifeless.
The house bread was tasteless served with mediocre olive oil and balsamic.
I had the house spaghetti. The spaghetti was a tasteless box variety tossed in a good tomato ragu with mixed seafood. It had a strong seafood smell that makes me worried and the shrimp were overdone. Otherwise it tasted -- well, boring.
The partner had chicken in tomato sauce and potatoes that was good. The side of spinach was, going along with the tasteless theme of the restaurant, just steamed spinach.
We received a strong lemoncello at the end that was painfully sweet and left mostly untouched.
The meal was completely forgettable. But the atmosphere was insane. For our entire meal a Frank Sinatra impersonator in a dark pinstripe suite and fedora sang standards at an earsplitting level. I want to be as nice as possible to the brave entertainer, but the pitchy off-note renditions of Frank Sinatra with only five or ten words recognizable was really rough. I wish that was the only issue, however, the windowless basement restaurant is maybe 1200 sq/ft and 'Frank' was walking around with a microphone blasting song after song. Conversation was impossible over the stadium-rock-concert ear-ringing crooning. The table next to us held their ears and loudly begged him to stop. The owner was oblivious as he was the only one clapping at the end of each horror.
The Zagat rating is a mistake; 27/30 lacks credibility.
No Shard watcher am I. Resolutely unimpressed by the see through penis substitute despite the raving of friends. I am also unhappy watching the area change beyond recognition as the monied classes roll in. Don't get me wrong, the sympathetic gentrification of Bermondsey Street, led by local businesses such as Wolff & Tay, Pizarro and the Garrison is a 'good thing', but the tourist focussed homogenisation of places like Borough Market drives me mad.
Guiseppes, hidden away in a basement and accessed through a doorway in an alley under the shadow of the monolith (though that covers a pretty broad area to be fair), is resolutely old school. Guttering candles, faded Italian travel prints, roses on dark wobbling wood tables and an Italian troubadour most nights. This is the local Italian your parents remember.
Other than a glass of Montepulciano you could strip limescale with and some thankfully unproffered neon limoncello, it seems unadventurous but pretty decent. At less than a tenner for most mains it's reasonably priced too.
We scarfed bruschetta with zingy flavoursome tomatoes and a bundle of supermarket bagged salad followed swiftly by two big plates of passable pasta and sauce. There's nothing exceptional on the menu and barring a few specials on a chalkboard, no seasonal changes to a parade of old favourites. You won't find any of the art and guile of Zucca, Tinello, L'Anima or any of the modern Italians but given the £20 a head (inc drinks and service) price tag, we weren't too bothered. It's not that kind of place.
So Guiseppes. It's where you'd eat if your quick pint at the George spans into 2 or 3, you can't get a table at Brindisa but don't fancy wandering to Bermondsey Street.
And it's in a basement. Gentrify that. I dare you...
I'll start right off by acknowledging we're from DC, but still like to think we're not barbarians. Went to Giuseppe's with our little one, expecting to be tolerated at best. The waitress was lovely and they sensibly brought bread & dipping oil right away, with a prompt and friendly refill when necessary. The service was excellent, friendly and efficient, probably the best we've had in London so far.
The menu contains a number of old favorites, expected but not boring. The portions are large even by American standards. But best of all, the food was very satisfying. The bruschetta made the best of May tomatoes with good marinating. The classic spaghetti Bolognese was rich tasting as it should be, but had a brightness that many lack. Veal scallopine was thin and crisp. Little one ate a whole stuffed garlic portobello mushroom with toasted mozzarella, plus many other things.
During the meal, a man played classic crooner songs on a electric guitar. Not so loud we couldn't talk, nice. Very cheesy, but like cheese, strangely pleasing. Our waitress took a turn at a song from Cabaret, dedicated to our little one. Fun. Not a cheap meal, but an excellent value. We're likely to return before our trip is done.
This is the kind of place you'd only know about if you get taken there by someone who's already been - it's a hidden gem literally 30 seconds walk from London Bridge station, and tucked away just off the main road. You have to really look for it, take a few steps down a slightly dodgy looking alley way, and then down a staircase, but once you're in, you won't be sorry. The food is gorgeous - I can't seem to stray away from carbonara but I haven't regretted it yet, and there's a starter involving mushrooms & cheese that is divine!
The service is fab - they're never too far away or too busy to see to your every need, and then there's the jazz/swing singer (Harry Connick Jr wannabe) who serenades the lucky diners on Friday & Saturday evenings. He's loads of fun :)
Definitely go there if you want a nice romantic meal in a slightly gangster-movie setting. Thoroughly recommended.
A definition of a hole in a wall. It is off an alley near London Bridge station. I have always wondered what was in there.
You walk thru the doors and down the stairs you are transported to another place. There is a guy singing tunes like Frank Sintra songs and the service is pretty decent. The food is good. The portion size for the price is excellent.
If you want decent Italian food with a fun vibe, you must check this place out
It's not every day you stumble across an Italian resto with an Elvis impersonator.
I have NO IDEA if this is a good thing. I was in a foul mood the day I wound up here, and I left feeling happy and giggly (that might have also been helped by the wine), but there's a vibe in here, and it's fun. A little confused - I don't think we were the only first timers in here and someone belting out hits while you nibble on olives is strange if you're not expecting it. But it was a Monday, and it turns out Mondays are vastly improved by Elvis' giving you flowers. From the table next to you. Who knew?
That's my lasting impression of the evening. I had to rack my brains to remember my meal, but it was a chicken and asparagus thing (too much cheese for my liking, but pretty tasty). The food was average but the meal with wine and starters came to about £15. I don't care - I was serenaded by an Elvis impersonator.
A charming little underground Italian bistro close to London Bridge. They have live music most nights, Monday night being Elvis night and the food is fine and reasonably priced. Somehow it all feels a little kitsch and stuck in the 1970s but it's a lot of fun, the service is good and it won't make your wallet weep.
Went here on a Friday night after a local recommended it. Was confused at first, had to stand on the stairs to wait for a table, the guy seating people was clearly more interested in the group of chicks behind me and sat them first. No worries though as we were seated pretty quickly. Drink service was fast, but took forever to get the food order in. Didn't really matter since the mafioso singer guy was belting out some Sinatra. This place has a totally unique vibe.
Onto the food. Got the Antipasto Italiano which was awesome (can't really go wrong with salted meats and Parmesan cheese). The house red was relatively cheap and pretty decent. For dinner, had the Veal Milanese served with spaghetti bolognese which was great. All around an excellent meal with a great ambiance. Not for the faint of heart.
Should be called 'Awful Place'. Dull and grubby, over expensive, staff who can't be bothered, especially when it comes to remembering your order. Not welcoming at all. Food just basic, couldnt taste any garlic just salt. Mirror on the wall with 'Our Cellar' logo on it we sure felt like we were in one! Thank goodness it wasn't for a special occasion!!
Great food, very fresh and authentic. I visited once and will definitely go again. It was very busy and the atmosphere was lively but nevertheless, the service was brilliant and the price was good too. I definitely want to go again.
Exactly as advertised. An old fashioned 'hole in the wall' Italian restaurant. I had the minestrone soup to start and the the spaghetti bolognese. I am not sure if you would call it cutting edge haut cuisine, but it was very good for what it was. Complete with a singer doing standards
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