A very solid Italian place which happens to be in my work building.
The food is really rather good. Big portions. Fresh pasta.
I could almost imagine popping in there at lunchtime despite the £15/18 set menu lunch prices.
It's nice. Good food. Full of suits. Spacious. You'll get a seat.
But after advertising the set menu they gave us a normal menu (appealing to British shame, we think, that we'd be embarassed to ask for the set menu?)
The food was good - a bit extra good. The portion size was very good, but we weren't a table full of lawyers ordering a largeish meal withwine at lunch? The service was lacklustre at best.
Possibly due to the set menu business. But then they added the service charge on, so they wouldn't be expecting a particularly good tip?
Well, anyway, three stars. I'll go back, butnot rush back.
Polite staff and a varied menu of Italian meals, not an Italian restaurant full off pizza and pasta so ordered the sea bass dish. We waited a little while for service and felt that there could have been bread or something to nibble on. Eventually, we were asked if we wanted bread, which we did and this came in the form of a large basket which I was expecting them to just offer a couple of slices from however, this was all for us! (2 people). We ordered white wine (which could have been cooler) and waited for mains which didn't take too long. The sea bass came with some cooked vegetables but it also had salad on the plate (I always find it odd to have cold and cooked veg together). Found the odd bone in the fish but apart from the the dish was OK. Ordered chips as a side of which there were loads (usually a good thing!).
Annoying thing about the service was that it felt that no sooner had you put your cutlery done to talk or just rest for a moment someone was there ready to take the plate. There were more than a couple off occasions when I had to tell them that I had not finished whilst they tried to take the plate from me. At my starter, I gave up and let them take it although I had not really finished.
Cheesecake pudding was OK but I have had better. We came here with a deal but looking at the normal prices of the dishes I think it would be on the bit of the pricey side without this.
It is based in 'lawyer land' so can probably get away with being a little on the pricey side.
The night we went we had rather loud table (or woman really) near us but once she left the noise level dropped own to reasonable level. The restaurant was very full showing its popularity.
+ spacious venue
+ visually appetising food
- but looks better than it tastes
- not value for money
Grappolo is by no mean the worst Italian I've had in London, but every course was just slightly disappointing especially if you were paying full price.
I came here as part of a group. Having reserved a table for seven, there were eight chairs and places set, which wasn't a problem except there were only three tables which meant if there were eight of us we would have struggled for a bit of elbow space. As it turned out only six of us made it to dinner and I was thankful I didn't have tuck my arms in for the duration of our three-course meal. This was disappointing given the venue was so spacious and we weren't crammed in with other diners, just next to each other.
We ordered a bottle of Sancerre and unfortunately the first glass was barely chilled, making the wine taste rather awful. It wasn't until the second glass, after it has sat in the ice bucket for a bit, that the white wine reached its optimum temperature.
I had the carpaccio of beef to start which was finely cut and beautifully presented but I didn't feel it was from the best cut, since most of it tasted quite bland and only some mouthfuls bursted with flavours.
For main course, I had the prawn and crab risotto. It's not the worst risotto in London (I've been served 'soupy' risotto in the past and at least this one wasn't sitting in a puddle of broth), but the rice was starting to go soggy. Disappointingly, there was hardly any strands of crab, which led me to think the risotto should have been handsomely flavoured with crab essence, but that wasn't the case either.
For dessert, I had the chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream. The ice cream was delicious but the chocolate fondant was missing its gooey centre and tasted more like a warm chocolate cake.
Having been told that the venue was previously a Bertorelli that has failed, I really wanted to like the replacement that has sprung up. The venue and food itself looked the part especially in the city, but everything just came up short of expectations.
Grappolo is a nice reasonably classy Italian restaurant not too far from Chancery Lane tube station. Its not in the sort of location that I imagine many people would stumble across, on the narrower part of Fetter Lane, so it doesn't appear to get that busy (although it was a Tuesday night that I went). We went there as we had a 50% food discount and a free bottle of wine with the Taste card.
Its what I think of as a "proper" Italian restaurant, not just another pizza/pasta place. In fact there isn't a pizza in sight on the menu. There is however a good selection of Antipasto (starters), Primi (pasta dishes) and Secondi (meat dishes). They also had a specials board which had some tempting dishes on it (although they only give you 25% off those).
I had the Papardelle pasta with braised duck, it was very good, and the larger portion was enough to fill me up (the pasta comes in small and large portions).
The service was friendly, and all the waiters appeared to be Italian which is usually a good sign that the restaurant takes its authenticity seriously.
The actual food that arrived at our table was fabulous!! The servers were hustling to serve all the tables. They did seem out of sorts. First thing, they handed me a wine menu and I ordered a bottle of red wine. I was then informed they only had their house Red. Okay I thought; then I ordered a martini ........ Grey Goose, straight up, extra cold with a twist of lemon. Somehow, that was interpreted (twice) as adding lemonade to the martini. I sent both back and just drank the house red. I would not go back; there are better restaurants that seem to know what they're doing !
Given price £20 per head for mains only the food in this restaurant was a disgrace. We were served stale bread at £4 a plate when we complained we were told that's all there is. The lasagne was a disgusting overcooked slop which I couldn't finish (it was so sloppy you mash it with a spoon) and even the French beans were cooked to death. Service was poor to boot (3 polite asks to fill a glass of water?? Come on people! Likely management aren't motivating/paying staff properly). Worst eating experience I've had in this price range for quite some time. Avoid.
Excellent food, friendly staff, and with the current deal it is very good value for money! We will definitely go back to try everything from the menu!
Head Chef Gianfranco has worked as a chef for over 30 years in his native Italy, France, New York City and London.
His specialities are authentic Italian food served with style. Pastas are superb - particularly his risottos - and his steaks are phenomenal! Gianfranco's a la carte menu is simple but delicious Italian food... For guests wanting something more adventurous, he offers a range of daily specials.
Gianfranco has been with us since 2012.
Established in 2011.
We established Grappolo in 2011 to offer London's City authentic and delicious Italian food. Our humble goal is to serve you a meal that will make you think - if only for a moment - you are in Italy! We also boast a hand-picked selection of Italian wine to drink in our cozy bar or to complement Chef Gianfranco's dishes.
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