Easy to miss but a must try when in Soho, on each visit have been lucky enough to get seated straight away but can imagine that's not always the case... Love the seating arrangement which is very social being based around the bar, always manage to end talking with randoms but that's something I like about this place. Staff are excellent and always welcoming and pour a mighty fine drink! I always check out the specials and tend to get the staff to recommend a drink as they never fail to impress. Food like the seating is a very social affair and great for sharing with a friend/s I highly recommend the onion rings, mack cheese and their very impressive PBJ!
To illiterate great place to drink and dine when in Soho, highly recommended!
This place is an oasis on the Regent Street side of Soho. A respite from the heat on such a hot muggy day. The air conditioning and seats at the bar were just what we needed. We were noticed right away by the guy behind the bar and we felt welcome.
We started off with drinks. My wife had a bloody mary and I asked for a glass of the coldest thing they had available (a half pint of pale ale). I was quite happy for my wife to choose the food. After studying the menu, it was obvious that there were a lot of great options and we had to narrow them down. They have four different sliders (mini burgers) - they are £5 each, or you can get all four of them for £18. So we got that. The macaroni cheese is famous here and we got that too. We stopped there, knowing that we could always order more later if we liked.
Each of the sliders were great in their own way. I liked the prawn one - a new experience for me in a burger. The pulled pork one was great - it had a piece of crackling inside of it (bonus prize!).
The macaroni cheese came out afterwards. It was hot pan full of bubbling tastiness. The pan must have been dangerous to touch, but we weren't any more careful than usual as we spooned out our own servings. There is a tasty crumb on top and the contents are infused with thinly chopped leek. We happily polished off the lot.
I would happily come back here again, to try the items we missed on our first visit.
It looked soooo good...and then we tasted it. The burgers are cool concepts on paper that just don't work. The sauces and meat are terrible. Popcorn is dry and flavourless. Onion rings taste like pure vinegar. Some saving grace in the beef burger and chips. House wines are £18/bottle and the white is actually really good. The whole place is two-person parties so it's really tough to seat 3+ and you can expect to wait 20 minutes or more if you show evening time. Cool atmosphere. Would go back if someone wanted to try it, or if I had had a few too many. Otherwise not anything worth tracking down.
A great place to eat out in a different environment. Yes you have to wait for seating, but a nice place for a more relaxed experience, dine around a bar, trying lots of small plates of Americana. Of course it's a bit trendy as most tapas places that don't serve traditional Spanish tapas are, but a relaxed place to have lots of nice small plates. Buttermilk chicken!!!
Went there for a quick lunch by myself on a Saturday. It has a certain cool, grittiness to it. It is quite a social place, as you can only dine at the bar and you can't avoid checking out your neighbours' food and strike up a conversation. The bar tenders are quite chatty and friendly. I would say it is a small plate diner. They are famous for their bite size burger, but I opted for Beef cheek and simple steamed kale. Both dishes were good, but not that exciting. I have to say the food is a bit pricy for the portion and what it is.
I may need to come back another time, because I can see this being a fun place for dinner with a couple of friends. (Right, don't bring too many friends, otherwise, you will have to all sit in one line, which makes conversation a bit of a challenge.)
I haven't had such good luck with food in London - but this place definitely shines above the rest. This place is like a hipster beacon in the middle of london's time square (picadilly circus)
Things I recommend:
- Beef cheek
- Pork sliders
- Dutch baby
..though there were plenty of other things on the menu I wanted to try.
Another plus the staff here was extremely nice and patient. All they have in terms of seating is the bar though - so I recommend going at an odd hour or be prepared to wait.
My friend and I have been to our fair share of tapas places in London - and when I suggested Spuntino for "American tapas", she almost ran there. We were definitely not disappointed.
We grabbed the last two little spaces at the back, and stayed there for about 3 hours...! Our waiter was possibly the most accommodating and helpful man I've ever come across. The cocktails he made us were unbelievably sublime (and trust me on this, for I've tried many, many cocktails). In particular, the Ted Damson has been on my mind ever since. He concocted one whose name escapes me for my friend that included gin and elderflower, and she's still raving about it. Pre-cocktails, we had beer. It was also excellent. I should also mention that although I deserved one, I didn't have a hangover in the morning - I suspect that's due to both the superior alcohol and the masses of food we consumed...
Onto the meal. We had Mac n' Cheese and sliders and they were exquisite - I wasn't even hungry before I got there, but I could not stop eating. We then shared the PB&J dessert (listen to all of the other reviews - it absolutely should not be missed) and the Dutch Baby, which is a sort of Yorkshire pudding pancake. Again, delicious.
I'm running out of positive words to describe my experience at Spuntino - just trust me when I say that this place is fantastic, and the queue is definitely worth it. It's highly likely I'll be there with you, begging them to make me a cocktail while I wait.
Solid showing. Been wanting to try Barrafina for a while but as advertised the queue was incredibly long even at an off hour - so I chose not to stay. So a few blocks away Spuntino was my backup plan and a good one at that. The wait was about 15 minutes and went quickly as I people watched.
This is a great place for a solo diner as 3/4 of the restaurant it the bar so you can belly right up and go at it. There is a good amount of people for a small space but the staff was accustomed to it and navigated well.
Kale salad was interesting and a nice nice way to start with roasted almonds.
The Mac and cheese was a force to be reckoned with, served in a skillet with multiple cheeses and crusty topping.
The dish people were talking about, and for good reason was the peanut butter sandwich which was slabs of house-made PB ice cream with coulis in the middle.
Would definitely return. Easy casual spot with very good food, a cozy feel and friendly staff.
Spuntino is everything I hoped it would be - a dark, rough, hole-in-the-wall in Soho with delicious small plate food! (There's no name over the door, so look hard.)
Start with the Truffle Egg Toast - so good. The slider sampler did not disappoint - my favorite was the Shrimp Po' Boy. The Mac 'n' Cheese was a little bit of a let-down, as was the Fried Chicken, but I give them extra points for attempting American-comfort-food and I would still order these dishes again.
Wish we had room for dessert, but we were a little drunk and way too full by the time we left, so we'll just have to return.
It's the best of all worlds . Food bar! Must love great counter service to enter . Ground beef an marrow slider, beef cheek w/ mashed cauliflower and Mac n cheese that rivals the American"'s. Service rocks ! It feels like we are eating at their place and they simply want us to have a good bite and wash it down w/ a libation ..
Great date place !
There's something oddly New York like about this place - maybe its the cramped seating arrangements that remind me of "home". We walked in a Tuesday evening and snagged the second to last pair of seats in the strange little alcove at the back. By the time we left at around 9pm there was a queue.
A had the cheeseburger - I had the truffled egg toast (not as good as Ino's in NYC, RIP) and the pea, radish and feta salad. All quite good - although portions are on the small side.
I would say that Ino is a great place for a date or for a casual glass of wine and a catch up with a friend. I'd certainly recommend sitting at the bar for the best experience - service was a litte slow in our little alcove.
I'd also ask them to please put handbag hooks under the counter so us ladies don't have to put our bags on the floor...
I've read so much about this place so was good to finally experience and only had to wait around 10 minutes for a table, arriving early evening.
There's a tiny waiting area along the wall at the back and then the bar area with diners seated around and a tiny alcove at the back with the obligatory faux distressed tiles and exposed brick and pipe work with low low industrial light fixtures and beat up white enamel dishes.
We were seated at the back area and really struggled to read the menu written in tiny, feint print on brown paper. We and the couple next to us resorted to using the candles and the lights from our phones to read the menu (I don't understand this idea of menus that you can hardly read).
Castallero (or something) salad which turned out to be lettuce with dressing. Also ordered eggplant chips with fennel yoghurt.
The eggplant chips were pretty good though.
We ordered buttermilk chicken which arrived and was completely raw inside so sent it back. The server apologised and said he would replace and take it off the bill (it wasn't taken off the bill).
Beef with beets and horseradish was flavoursome and good.
Also sampled the peanut butter and jelly sandwich: PB ice cream with raspberry coulis inside was nice enough but nothing special.
When we were finished, we waited for ages to try and flag down the server's attention for the bill and then waited again for an age before they could bring the credit card machine for the relatively pricey £45 bill.
Spuntino is an idea of a New York diner / trendy hole in the wall but for me it's hard to get excited about casual American inspired dishes that should be straightforward and generous when they are turned into small plates with premium prices. The food is good but in my book as the portion size reduces, it needs to become special to justify the value quotient. Being cool at the expense of function (the website with no useful information, the almost illegible menu) loses some of the attraction for me. The lettuce with dressing is just not exciting. America is the home of the salad. How about a decent, fresh chopped salad with lots of flavours / textures going on? The food overall was good but not that special. I'd just much rather have the real thing with decent portions and half the price plus with the poor show on the fried chicken and slow service it adds up to a 3 star experience for me.
3.75 stars. I still can't get the truffled egg toast from Spuntino out of my mind. Sure, it might not sound like the most appetizing of treats, but the dish is quite tasty if for no other reason than the extraordinarily generous amount of truffle oil used in its preparation. The stuffed fried olives are so decadent and unhealthy, even Paula Dean might shirk at the fat content. Yet, both the fried olives and the truffled egg toast are worth your time. In fact, other than the mac-n-cheese (which was simply average), nearly everything I tried at Spuntino's was solid.
Spuntino also has some pretty amazing drinks. The current menu reads something like a list of Mad Men inspired cocktails, and the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac take center stage. There were some beers here as well, but I'd suggest allowing the bartenders here to craft you a nice drink. You won't be disappointed.
The atmosphere is different in a good way. There was a pleasant 60's soul soundtrack. Everything is very dark. This British take on American culture is quite interesting.
Overall, I found Spuntino to be among the more interesting places I visited in London. I would certainly consider it as a destination on a subsequent London trip.
Loved this place. They don't take reses but went a bit early (6:30/7sih) on a weeknight and only had to wait 10-15 minutes before being seated at the bar.
Things I loved:
-Sunchoke salad with truffle dressing
Things that can't be missed:
-PB&J dessert. Just nuts how good it is!!
Would definitely go back. Service was a slow but the place was packed so to be expected and everyone was really nice.
How many sliders do you get?
*the waiter seemed confused*
How many? Like they're tiny right, so usually you get a few, how many do you get for £5?
Yeah, turns out, just the one...
Ok, so despite the fact that costs did not meet my expectations at all (you really should get 2 for £5, they're small.....) The food was pretty amazing. We got wings, one of the better mac & cheeses in London, grits, and a pork slider. Coupled up with some Manhattans and old fashioneds, it made for a perfect meal.
This place would be a zillion times better if it was a bit more cheap and cheerful and less trendy and trying. I think they get it, but it kind of puts a damper on the ethos of what American diner food is supposed to be. It's kind of in the same arena of how I feel about expensive "dive bars" in London, it's just a trick!
Listen Spuntinos, don't you go coming up in here thinking that you all that. Cos you ain't.
This is London, baby. And in Londontown, we picky!
Bartenders in wifebeaters and basketball shirts are only gonna impress the tourists and the know-nothings. Yelpers are going to look beyond your 'faux dirty diner' and laugh.
£9 for mac and cheese... are you for realz? Back in hillbilly America, you know that place you are copycatting, grits, mac and cheese, sliders, PB&J, all these are comfort, affordable foods. CHEAP FOODS.
You go to Wal-Mart and you buy a dollar box of mac and cheese. And it's still better than this! We spent like 40 bucks here, that probably feeds an American family on peanut butter and jelly for a month! And they wouldn't still be hungry, like I was!
I don't like being taken for a ride, but plenty of folks do, so I'm sure Spuntinos will do well. Their pulled pork slider was pretty good, but at £5 I'm not a Rockefeller, so I could only afford one.
Why Sputino? For the mac'n'cheese and PB&J of course! Now it wouldn't be worthy of being in the company of its sister spots Polpo and Polpetto if it didn't add some unique twists. Needless to say, for the atmosphere and vibe alone Sputino is a winner, for the food it's pretty good, and for the drinks...well nobody's perfect.
Sputino is just a couple of spots away from Bubbleology and MADD (two excellent Rupert St offerings) although you can be forgiven for missing it given the dark exterior and tiny sign. Even looking directly at it, it took us a couple of minutes to realise that we had arrived. Once in, you can take in the dark mahogany woods, massive bar, and relaxed atmosphere. It has a touch of old world bar mixed in with top end steak house. Of special note is the exit light above the door which is pretty awesome and you'll have to see it for yourself. Unfortunately, given the light differential no photos were possible.
One downside is that you have to wait in line for a seat (they don't allow you to put your name down and come back later) but they will serve you drinks while you wait so it's not all bad. My Sazerac was decent but the decision to leave a massive orange peel in the drink made it far too citrus-scented and flavoured which obscured the taste of the rye. Not bad for a refreshing cocktail but for a £10+ drink I want it to feel rich and worthy of the price.
On to the food! We ordered the mac'n'chesse, shoestring fries, truffle egg toast, and for dessert of course the PBJ. The mac'n'cheese is served piping hot in a cast iron pan. Top points for presentation and smell but be warned - this is one of the richest mac'n'cheeses I've ever had and that includes some I've made with double cream and unending amounts of parmesan and cheddar. Tracy L and I (both known for our ability to put away food by the ton) could barely get through half of it. In fact, I'd wager that it was richer than even the Beef Shin Macaroni from Hawksmoor.
The truffle egg toast is a must have for any truffle lovers. You can smell the intense truffleness as it approaches your table and each breath will send sparks to your brain. I've never fully experienced the taste of truffle until this and to be honest I think it was a bit overwhelming. The shoestring fries were a mixed bag of crunchy and soggy but the saltiness was a good counterpart to the mac'n'cheese and truffle toast.
Finally the PBJ. Now this isn't the standard sandwich you had in middle school for lunch. Rather, Sputino has used the concept, deconstructed it, and turned it into a dessert. What you end up with are two triangles of peanut butter ice cream which sandwich a berry coulis and are topped by roasted peanuts. It's a great mix of flavours and textures and by far the highlight of our meal. I could easily eat the smooth sweet peanut butter ice cream all day long and the slightly tart bite of the berries was a perfect contrast.
Overall, a good effort and great for a relaxed meal and drink. However, I wouldn't try it in more than groups of 2-3 as waiting for a larger space to open up could take a while.
Giant Robot meets Barrafina in the heart of Soho.
No reservation, you wait, you eat as you wait, you drink as you wait, and finally you get a seat - "it's that simple" said the guy explaining it to me as I entered. Hmmm, some indication of how long I am going to have to wait would make it even simpler, no?
Anyway, meeting a good friend, the wait wasn't too painful. We had some wine, some spicy nuts and a croque monsieur to pass the time along with ample servings of good old gossip. When we did sit down over an hour's wait later on a Wednesday night we got...
1. a beef and bone marrow slider (yeah yeah yeah, tasty and nice but forgettable once the rest arrived)
2. a beets salad, recommended by the guys sitting next to us and very tasty
3.amazing Calamari with ink all over it - I'm not the sort to order this usually but this was very good.
4. tasty sausage with lentils
5. slightly overpowering chicory with speck but my friend liked it
Also, get the deep fried olives with anchovies. I hate olives usually but these were great. I can't say I loved their eggplant chips and their shoestring fries were almost fried air with 1000xthe calories.
I'd definitely go again but never with more than one friend, go in a group of 2 or don't go at all. You'll be waiting forever.
Let me start off by saying my friends and I targeted Spuntino for its mac & cheese. As Americans looking for a little taste of home, the five of us scaled the internet and ran into Spuntino as a place that had touted mac.
We got off at the Picadilly Circus stop and used Yelp's map to find the street it was on. However, once we arrived at the street we looked around and could not find this place. After a while we realized extremely small text "Spuntino" was labeled on a hole in the wall and were relieved to have found it.
When we entered, we were shocked to find it was very tiny. It's really just a bar, and for something touted for its food we were expecting a full set up. Luckily, as a party of five we secured their ONE table. Literally they had one table, able to seat 7. Just one. In a hole in the back of the place. We felt so lucky.
Anyways, with a bar they surprisingly only had two beers available, with their hard drinks and spirits being featured most. They have a great menu for such a small place with one table. The vibe of the whole bar was very hip. It looked shabby but in an 'underground' and 'trendy' way. With very cool old interior architectural features. There are arches and bricks, and vintage facets to the place.
It almost felt like being inside a time capsule. The music playing was great too, a funk-jazz style pulsing through the place that was complimented by dim lighting. The lighting was very dim. Maybe too dim.
Onto the food! The mac and cheese took a while to get to us, but when it finally did we were so excited that we almost burned our mouths on it. The portions were large. It's very sharable, but if you are very hungry (which we were) a single person could take that dish down. It comes in the dish/pan it was cooked in which was cool.
The mac and cheese is gourmet style, baked to an oven crisp on top and evenly coated with breadcrumbs. We were very excited about the fact that we were eating mac and cheese so we overrated it at first, but after a moment of reflection we realized it was all rather bland. The breadcrumbs are honestly what saved it, as the cheese used was extremely mild and didn't have much of a kick at all. It also wasn't very cheesy, it was evenly distributed, but more cheese might have helped. Overall they need to use sharper ingredients and the breadcrumbs added enough flavor that it wasn't a total loss.
The service was great overall and our waiter sat down with us to take our order, wrote nothing down, but nailed everything perfectly. The prices were a little high. The mac dishes were 9 pounds each. Most drinks were around 5 pounds
Overall the environment is what gave this place four stars. The food was a good attempt, but really was 3 star flavor. The prices were high for the quality but not quantity. This is definitely a trendy place. It doesn't even have a telephone to call it! Doesn't get much more underground than that.
So if you're looking for incredible mac and cheese, clearly there are mixed reviews on this, but I don't think this is the place to go. To be continued on better mac options!!
LOVED this place! When we traveled to London last month, we had at least 3 different friends who had been here before tell us not to miss Spuntino.
Awesome pub with a great vibe, friendly and attentive wait staff (even with a crowded bar at lunch time).
Best part (besides the beer of course) was the food! It's almost all small plates, but they pack a punch. The truffled egg toast and the pulled pork pickled apple slider were two of the unbelievable dishes we had.
And the prices are awesome, especially if you want to try a bunch small plates.
Highly, highly recommended. Will be my first stop next time I'm in London again.
This has to be one of the most hyped new restaurants amongst the London food blogs. To be fair most of the hype is deserved. The food is pretty good and it's a really well thought out restaurant. It's definitely a destination restaurant and more than worth the inevitable queue.
The queue always appears to be about an hour when you're greeted by the waiters. Don't be put off by this as al it takes is for a couple of people to leave and the queue disappears quickly. When we were sat the queue went from 4 couples waiting to none instantly.
My only gripes about Spuntino were that it really felt a bit too American theme bar, authentic but overbearing, and the staff. One of the bar staff spent the whole night complaining about how he was hungover and tired well within earshot of the customers. He also generally had an attitude to other members of staff who were fantastically friendly.
YUMMMMMMMY. I can't believe what we ate here. All amazing, rich, decadent delicious food.
I love sharing plates and this is definitely what you do here. Sliders, string fries, sausages, nuts, roasted figs with gorgonzola, fried olives, mac and cheese. Calories consumed were WORTH it - this food is amazing north american gastropub, but done even better than anywhere I've been in the states.
Service was awesome. I swear, that guy was running the entire place and was breezing around getting everything right. Amazing. Loved the music too.
The only downside is that it's uber cool and small. (I'm NOT cool OR small.) You'll wait for a while to get a table, lined up along the inside wall. A little squishy, but they served us drinks so no complaints really. We ended up getting 4 of us in the back room - it was an amazing table and I enjoyed it back there more than I would've at the bar. I feel like the bar is only conducive to couples. It's loud and boisterous bar eating.
Food will bring me back here. I loved it.
From the creators of Polpo, Polpetto and Mishkins. Centred around a bar and all seated on high stools in a industrial looking high ceiling-ed square room. Feels a little like stepping into a New York eaterie.
Everything I had here was delicious BUT I wasn't impressed with their mac and cheese. It lacked some substance or depth in flavour... in my opinion. The slider (mini burgers) were the best thing on the menu- I had a pulled pork and pickled apple and beef with bone marrow. Mmmm, I could have had at least 3 more! Also tried their mozarella crostini which tasted of crushed garlic heaven. The quality of the mozarella was good the the crostini perfectly crispy like it should be. Finally shoestring fries are always a good shout!
Very reasonably prices but get there before 7pm to avoid the queue- this place gets very busy and they don't take reservations!
Spuntino basically takes all of my American favourites, glorifies them, and then tacks on hefty price tags for the kind of food served. Sliders and mac and cheese are supposed to be cheap comfort foods!
That being said, I can't help but love this place. There's something about the gritty decor, 20 odd bar seats, free popcorn at the beginning of your meal that makes Spuntino a favourite for me. Steak and eggs are a great hangover cure and the truffled egg toast is to die for! The food served is rich, indulgent and greasy but so comforting and perfect for when I'm feeling homesick.
The food's not cheap - easily £25 a head. But, the food's good and atmosphere is brilliant...which is why I keep coming back!
Polpo, Mishkin's & Spuntino
Fasten your seatbelts, we've gone international. The following blog is broadcast live from London. Follow our journey via the wonders of the internets. Wot-ho old chaps!
When we were last in London, Beak Street's Polpo was one of the year's big openings. A little while later it was joined by Polpetto (also in Soho), situated above The French House on Dean Street.
Inspired by the osterie of Venice both continue to serve rustic food and aperitifs that you would expect to find in Italy - simple, good food and drink - plus a great bustling atmosphere that promises to bring a ray of light to dull winter days.
Sitting at the bar at Polpo a few years later, we were reminded of how much we have missed a proper plate of tapas-style food. Melbourne, and Australia in general, thinks it knows how to do rustic Euro fare, but too much effort and too many flourishes often lead to stripped back yet over-complicated food. And really, if the ingredients and flavour combinations are good, the dazzle should come naturally.
Bare walls, small seating area, patrons dining at the bar, no fuss and no modern design. We sipped an Old Fashioned and 250ml carafe of red wine....
...and nibbled on anchovy and chickpea crostini, roast pumpkin, parma ham and ricotta salata and pork belly, radicchio and hazelnut soaking in a tasty gravy.
As hard as it was to walk away from the intimate interior (I had my eyes set on a bit of an all-day drinking session), we stumbled on to the Jewish deli opened (by the same group) at the end of 2011 to rapturous excitement.
Mishkin's is staffed by a team of youngsters who look more Shoreditch than Covent Garden and definitely seem intent on bringing an injection of edgy cool to this touristy corner of the city.
A short, succinct menu of various meats in various breads, meatballs and all-day brunches and suppers is best enjoyed at the formica counter or in one of the leather-plastic upholstered booths.
Jugs of homemade Will Skidelsky's lemonade and squeezy ketchup and mustard bottles add to the old-school feel and an array of quirky office lamps offer a spot of interest amid the understated tiled and exposed brick walls. As the website says:
The boundaries in Mishkin's origins are as ambiguous as the menu's influences. Mishkin's is not Kosher (and neither, incidentally, is Katz's Deli in New York - perhaps the most famous Jewish restaurant in the world) and the dishes are based very loosely on the sort of Jewish comfort food we all love eating. Where possible we have used amazing local producers (the Big Apple Pork Hot Dog is lovingly made in East London) and where appropriate we have lightened recipes, refined traditional stodginess and, most of all, been playful.
Malted milkshakes and cocktails provide refreshment. We shared the hot dog, which came with a great homemade slaw and tottered onwards into the bowels of Soho and Spuntino.
No one does no-name bars like London
Spuntino is very reminiscent of a lower-east-side New York speakeasy. Again - this is a place that an Aussie entrepreneur would think they could do easily but would end up not really pulling it off to great effect - we would end up getting the 'Australian Lite' version. We spotted the joint easily most nights as it has a queue snaking out the door, but as we were lads of leisure we could jump in just before Londoners pack up work for the day.
Inside the unmarked entrance we found a dimly lit zinc-topped bar that is all about cocktails and small sharing plates - think 1920s Italian-American deli offerings and sliders.
The service was spot on, especially from our super-attentive mixologist who came over to our table and give us the rundown of the prohibition-style cocktails that were on offer. We asked him to keep mixing his favourites for us until we told him to stop.
A potent New York Sour and expertly made gin Martini get things flowing, served with a little metal bucket of butter and paprika popcorn. He then followed that up with a cocktail I had never head of but tasted fantastic - Seelbach. Again, I have to ask when are Aussies going to wise up to prices in Oz when every single cocktail in one of London's best bars never came to over $8.50. Less than a bottle of craft beer in any restaurant and bar Down Under.
We were told to dive into the stuffed fried olives, which were encasing gooey cheese. Perfect cocktail snacks and one that I had never had before but could see working at places like Bar Ampere in Melbourne's CBD. The barman warned us that the kitchen was only on their second day as they had only been open a few days previous. We thought they could pull it off so continued through the menu.
The G&T is the best thing about this place. The interior is meant to be gritty New York diner (I think). The food was pretty good but it's hard to enjoy it when you're having to bump elbows with your neighbours.
The location is odd (at the end of sex alley, next to a yogurt shop).
So glad I ended my first week in London at this easy to walk by and not notice restaurant in SoHo. Pefectly happy to wait for a corner spot at crowded bar while drinking amazing Dark and Stormy's and Old Fashioned's.
When it came to the food, we had read about the standards and they didn't disappoint. More so, the PB&J dessert was so unusual and unexpected we were practically high fiving the fun bartenders. I loved the pate, and my sliders, and the mussels were tasty as well.
All in all, i think what makes this place super fun though after the great drinks and food, was the music. If i could have bottled up the playlist, I'd know what i could play at any future party for cool not in your face, background music that keeps the energy up without trying to be a dance party.
Well done, and will be going back with each london visit....
I was lucky enough to go to one of the preview sittings for Spuntino before it opened last month. The owner Russell (who also owns Polpo and Polpetto) is, in his own words, 'obsessed with opening restaurants now'.
Well, this one is a little far from his previous mould, but it's equally as fun - with quality food at its core the most important aspect.
Given its location (nestled just next to the strip lights of Snog and the sex shops nearby), you'd be forgiven for steering clear of Spuntino. Yet, the dimmed lights and relaxed atmosphere mean that you step through the door into another world all together.
There's no reservations (not even a phone), so you'll be taking a chance, but I'm told the line moves pretty quickly on a normal night.
The huge bar means you're eating side by side with strangers, which adds to the informality of it all - and the bar staff double up as servers, passing your plates over from the pen in the middle.
The food is 'new york style' snack bits with a comforting edge. The macaroni cheese for me was the best thing on the menu, with the sliders a close second. Ingenuity with a hint of surprise fills the lists of food, from egg and soldiers (truffled of course) and cheddar grits, to spicy sausage and lentil that also sits on Polpo's menu. The P&J sandwich for dessert is served up as an elegant corner of ice cream with homemade coulis. Just beautiful.
Dishes arrive when they're ready, so just sit back, get buried in a conversation with someone special and enjoy the experience. It'll be well worth a bit of patience.
It's been a while since I've written a review on Yelp and Spuntino's has broken this habit, as I felt this place is certainly one to write home about.
First off the small cosy diner come bar only has a capacity of approximately 25 people. It was originally an Indian restaurant and the decor has been completely stripped back to reveal the original brick work and tiles. It has that almost rustic feel to it. The low lampshade lighting and the close knit bar stools gives it an almost New York diner feel to it.
Secondly, the magic number is two, I went with a group of four and being a stubborn lot we insisted on being seated as a four, when really we should have split into 2. But we were enjoying the flow of drinks and ambience, so we didn't mind waiting... even if it was for an hour.
Once seated we decided to make up for the wait and ordered pretty much most of the menu, a good 16 varying dishes, which was shared between four of us. The waitress was surprised we ordered that much (and equally impressed when we managed to finish it all).
The menu does change slightly as since opening they had got rid of the salt beef slider, which I've been told on good authority were one of the best sliders they had - and additionally introduced a few new dishes. Despite this, we decided to order a couple of pulled pork sliders and a handful of ground beef bone marrow sliders to make up for it's absence. The latter was truly amazing and one of the highlights (not the biggest) of the meal. The thing was so good it disappeared in two and a half bites. I could have ordered more if it wasn't for the other dishes we had trailing.
Other highlights included the egg plant chips (fries to our American cousins), deep fried olives stuffed with anchovies, mac and cheese, which was probably one of the best mac and cheese I've had in a long long time, and the truffle egg toast. I know a previous reviewer described this as a greasy mess, and I would like to think they have improved since then, as the version I got served was really something to behold. Word of warning, please don't let the smell put you off (not as bad as a century egg or durian, but close), instead let your taste buds lead the way. Some may find the truffle flavour rather overpowering, which my good friend commented on, but for me it just took the whole thing onto a whole new level.
Now for the biggest surprise of the evening, the one which just tantalised and made my taste buds turn to ecstasy was their "Peanut butter and jelly sandwich". No it's not a sandwich as such, but a slice, a slice of pure heaven. Essentially, two slabs of peanut butter ice cream with jelly jam sandwiched in between, sprinkled with nuts. It sounds rather simplistic, or should I say odd, but it's a must-must order for anyone who goes. For those who think they may not have room for this after an intense main course, such as devouring a plate of truffle egg toast, trust me, it tastes so good your stomach will make room for it just after one bite.
I LOVE MAC AND CHEESE.
Seriously this sells the best mac and cheese that I have ever tasted. I have been waiting for months to try out this dish here and finally got the chance! I think there is three different cheeses, mustard and leeks in the sauce. the paste was extra soft because it was soak in overnight in milk. The portion itself is quite filling, so do share between two.
Having eaten at Polpetto prior to coming here, I totally love Spuntino alot more. I like the concept of sitting and eating in front of a counter just like going to a cocktail/american bar. i don't recommend going here in a group unless you plan to get here early. Its more suited for two's.
My other friends prefer Polpetto over Spuntino mainly because you can sit down and relax.
The space is cramped but friendly -- it's interesting that the restaurant devotes a lot of room for the servers to work. We ordered a variety of tasty bites: fried stuffed olives, truffled egg toast (heavenly and decadent), fried eggplant with fennel yogurt (mmm), hamhock and chicory salad, beetroot salad, and a few that I can't remember. The restaurant also has a fairly extensive drink selection, along with some interesting and unusual options (e.g. dandelion and burdock soda).
Small plates, but still quite filling. Pricey, but delicious.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....
I love the decor that takes the authentic look of a run-down interior and makes it look chic.
I love the adornments--all the way to the toilet paper roll dispensers and the bubble gum machine on the all and the exit sign above the door.
I love the great service that was attentive an kept our wine generously poured into our little drinking glasses all evening.
I love the way my G&T was made that it was one of the best I've ever had.
I love sitting counter style.
I love the dishes.
I love the great blues that were blasting through the excellent sound system.
I love the duck ham pecorino and mint salad, the asparagus pizzetta that was to die for, the calamari, the sausage and lentils, and our mackerel slider, and dying to go back to taste the mozzerella and nettles crustini, the mac and cheese, the softshell crab and other delights we didn't have room for.
Folks, I have a new favorite restaurant in London. Woohoo!
We were lucky to get there on a Friday at 8:45 and only have a 30 minute wait, but get ready to queue up for at least an hour and it is worth it.
Spuntino has a slightly sinister and forbidding exterior (and is so discreet one might have trouble finding it) - and is right in the middle of one of Soho's most seedy streets. One enters from the street straight into a tiny room - originally a Victorian fishmonger, with high, pressed ceilings and tiles wall to ceiling throughout. They have inserted a central polished steel bar and 25 diners sit on fixed stools around this. No reservations, and no telephone even! - one just turns up and queues (or is lucky like we were and gets seats straight away).
The decor leaves the rather damaged interior virtually intact as it was excavated from subsequent redecorations, but there are your typical American caged naked light bulbs and design touches. It all feels very East Village or SoHo NYC, with the food (and staff) to match. The actually very charming, friendly and efficient staff all had the most amazing tattoos on display. They do "tasting plates" - the idea to is order a few and share. They gave us chili popcorn when we sat down, and we ordered aubergine chips with a fennel yoghurt dressing as a starter. For our main sharing dishes we had macaroni cheese (a superb version, zinging with mozzarella, fontina and parmesan, mustard and leeks and a crispy breadcrumb topping), grilled chicory and speck and spicy Italian sausage and lentils. Stunning, and came to just over £10 per head (we had soft drinks; not alcohol).
There was a lovely chilled, dare I say romantic vibe in the restaurant for our late weekday lunch. However, I can imagine at peak times this place would be jumping. It's definitely worth frequent visits.
Another place by Russell Norman, the owner of Polpo and Polpetto, this time on Rupert Street. From the outside it looks quite modest with its dark facade and small sign. On the inside however is a small space with the bar being the main feature and some tables in the back.
The bar is the place to be, with a much more intimate feeling than the tables.
As for the food I have to say I did expect more. I have been to Polpetto many times (more than I'm willing to admit without torture or free beer) and that was what I was expecting. Overall the prices seemed a bit high for what you get for it.
Coming in and sitting down at the bar we were served a cup of popcorn. The flavour of the day was cayenne pepper giving a nice kick to the popcorn. I only had water to drink after a very wet evening the day before so I can't really say how the wines are but judging by Polpo and Polpetto I would expect them to be very nice.
First dish to come out of the kitchen was the Truffled Egg Toast. I've read quite a bit about this one and unfortunately it didn't really live up to my expectations of it. For me it was like toast with an egg yolk, bit of cheese and a sprinkling of truffle oil. It was all very nicely cooked I have to say but really nothing more than I could make at home quickly for weekend breakfast.
After that the Duck Ham, Pecorino Salad and the Spicy Sausage, Lentil & Radicchio. The salad was nice but just nice. It was good though to have something green. The spicy sausage on the other hand was really the highlight of the dishes. It had a very interesting combination of flavours that I can't actually really describe but it was very tasty and superbly balanced. It had a bit of bite to it, not all the time but now and then you have a bite that brings it out. I definitely recommend this one.
The Zucchini, Chilli & Mint Pizzetta was also one of the highlights. Both the mint and the chilli were nice subtle additions to the taste of bread, cheese and zucchini. I do prefer the pizzettas from Polpetto though as they feel less like a shrunk down, miniature version of a pizza than this did.
Finally the Shoestring Fries came in quite a big portion and were tasty. For me though I love the zucchini fries from Polpetto so this didn't really live up to that. This is only in comparison though, taken on their own they make a nice addition to all the other dishes.
In conclusion... I took a star off for the food being good but not what I was expecting and more expensive than I though it was worth, then added one back for the interior and the thought of how it would be in the evening having some drinks there.
Full review and pics here
I kind of thought I had written up Spuntino long ago. It appears I haven't So some words about the current bloggers' favourite. In this case I absolutely and completely agree with the Spuntino-Hype. It is an amazing place, so much fun! We went there on a Friday evening which is a mistake if you are hungry. As we knew what we were up against, I didn't mind waiting at this occasion. Spuntino is very small, around 25 or so seats around on the counter around the central bar area, and has a no booking policy. It's quite comfortable to queue leaning against the wall where there is also space to put down your drinks. Yes you get served in the queue and yes I was very drunk long before we got to sit down to order some food.
I should probably mention at the point that Spuntino is the little brother of Polpo and Polpetto, we are talking creative restaurateurs here.
rather nice dirty martinis , I think they were only 5£ or am I wrong?
The menu, even though small, is full of dishes I want to try, and it is on the cheap side. Of course considering the amount of alcohol you have consumed before eating, the bill adds up The food has a clear American theme to it with some American-Italian influences. American Rock 'n' Roll in the background and adorable guys with tattoos serving makes for a unique and particularly charming atmosphere.
Finally we have a seat (to which we stagger at this point). The nice people at Spuntino immediately serve us some fresh popcorn. Unfortunately it was too salty, but one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth
The Eggplant Chips (4) with caraway seeds went perfectly with the fresh and cold fennel yogurt.
Then there come the cutest burgers in the universe, and I forget to take a picture because I am just too greedy and they were gone within seconds. The best thing is that they have the perfect size to try all varieties! At this occasion we go for the Ground Beef and Bone Marrow Slider (4.50) which is tasty and succulent and the delectable Salt Beef Slider
Another fun dish yet to come: Truffled Egg Toast (£5.50). Plenty of gooey cheese, runny egg and the wonderful flavour of truffle amalgamate in the perfect guilty pleasure.
Also good but comparably less exciting were the Calamari, chick peas, ink (7). Considering that I avoid squid usually because I hate it when it is too chewy (which it just too often is), this one was perfectly tender and went very well with the chickpeas and the pitch black ink.
I had read in other bloggers' review about the Peanut Butter Sandwich with Jelly (6.50) which I considered a must try. What a great idea to make the 'sandwich bread' out of peanut ice cream. Give me more!
Here you have some Brown Sugar Cheese Cake with Plums. I didn't think that plums went so well with the cheese cake, which by the way was an absolute cheese-cake heaven.
We ended up making the closing time with plenty more drinks and we even made some friends. Dear Spuntino, I like you very much, you don't only create lovely food but you make me smile.
Full review and photies on thehappinessprojectlondo…
The Chef and I are decided lunch is the best meal of the day. Even better is an impromptu lunch. Better than that a boozy long impromptu lunch. And the best of the best is a boozy long impromptu lunch where you don't have to go to work afterwards and can do a pub crawl round Soho for the rest of the afternoon.
Well, we managed most of the above yesterday anyway. Spuntino is the new New-York-speakeasy influenced baby from the people that brought us Polpo and Polpetto and its really a delight that they are cornerning the market in Soho with cool, friendly, great value restaurants. Spuntino says it has no telephone number, no reservations, and The Chef and I thought there is no WAY we'd be able to walk in on Friday lunchtime and get a table easily. But we did easy peasy - 5 minute wait, and the short wait continued for the rest of lunchtime, so don't be put off by no reservations.
Spuntino looks fab having just been to Wilton's Music Hall the night before to see Iolanthe, I'm a big fan of shabby chic and Spuntino has been pared back to its original features and looks great for it beautiful tiles like it was formerly a Roman spa or a swimming pool, lovely lights. Although you all sit round a bar, you get enough privacy and its sexy enough to be a fantastic first date place and there's a great mix of friends, couples and solo eaters. We also noted that all these places seem to have the same type of staff trendy without being pretentious, cool and friendly and enthusiastic and laid back. It makes for a great atmosphere. Thanks to the lovely Nigel for our lunch and for the pepper and thyme popcorn that make us cough.
Anyway the food was brilliant: Lardo crostini and thingy-berries, delicious; Amazing truffle egg on toast delicious strong cheese (almost Swiss, raclettey), gooey egg and truffle you have to taste it, is amaaaazing;
one marrow slider ridiculously deep taste almost like an Italian ragu or spag bol, really lovely; Mac and cheese only disappointment. A little underseasoned and the cheese could have been stronger I prefer the Villandry Kitchen version; Peanut butter and jam sandwich this was also amazing and still makes my mouth water thinking about it. Peanut ice cream with rich berries and crumbled peanuts, absolutely delicious and so CLEVER.
Spuntino made us both smile loads we had an incredible lunch and all this food, plus an old fashioned cocktail (guess who's been watching too much Mad Men), 250cl white wine and kwoffees (served Americano filter style) came to only £30 each which was fantastic. It was a treat and a pleasure and the setting for our plotting the aforementioned Soho lunch and pub crawl. In fact the whole thing was incredibly Mad Men cool now I come to think about it. I will definitely be back to try the other sliders and the soft shell crab and the stringy curly fries. You can so easily pay £30 for an average meal in Soho so I'm so happy these guys are revolutionising the place they can really do no wrong right now!
Must try truffles sandwhich
It's as nice as they all say. Small, buzzing, friendly service, quirky dishes.
The egg and truffle toast is comfort food in the truest sense of the word, and the view on the "xxl video shop" opposite through the window is Soho in an even truer sense. It's very likely that you'll have to queue, even if coming for dinner at 6 pm during the week. So, the smaller the group of people the better. And one of the places where dining solo is actually a very pleasant option: It'll be easier to get a space at the bar and you still won't feel alone.
I'm not gonna lie. I actually love Spuntino! Visited here with a couple of friends after a bit of a drinking session and loved everything about it. We plonked ourselves down at the bar and between us pretty much ordered half of the menu (OK maybe not half but there was a lot!). Delights included truffle egg toast, steak and eggs, mini sliders, mac 'n' cheese, egg and soldiers and other things with similar saliva producing names. All were great but the stand out plate for me was the truffle egg toast. The sheer cheesy, truffly, eggy goodness pretty much summed up everything I love about food! The staff were enthusiastic and attentive and food came out as it was prepared. All of us wanted more but just couldn't fit it in! I can't wait to go back. Give it a go as soon as possible!
Reasons to love Spuntino:
- Truffled egg toast
- The peanut butter and jelly dessert, which consists of two triangles of peanut butter ice cream with raspberry jam in the middle
- Truffled egg toast
- Beef and marrow sliders that ooze tasty juice as you bite into them (if you're greedy like me you'll need two of these)
- Truffled egg toast
- Deep fried (!) olives
Ok, so they had me at 'slice of toast with runny egg yolk/truffle oil in the middle smothered in fontina cheese'. Comfort food squared. You won't find many healthy options here, but if you like your food (deep)fried and carb heavy, your drinks strong and your bar staff heavily tattooed (and friendly), this is your kind of place.
(Should probably mention the mac'n'cheese and sausage with lentils were average, but the rest of the food more than makes up for it.)
No bookings. Show up early or very late if you don't want to queue.
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