fantastic old fashioned family style Italian restaurant. the location is in a basement but beautifully decorated. very homey. Live music is fantastic and makes a pleasant surprise to piped in CDs. Food is very good and the menu fairly broad. Bring a very empty stomach as the portions are huge! Decent wine selection as well as other bar drinks.
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
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