May 11, 2018
Polpo sells itself as a ‘bacaro’, a Venetian-style bar-café that serves excellent Italian wine with superior things to eat. Inside, behind the retro net-curtained windows, you’ll find a simple but warm space, with bare brick walls and low wooden tables, all appealingly lit by candles and low-wattage bulbs. The wine list is, understandably heavy on the Italians, and drinks come served in rustic jugs. Of the food, the arancini, those Italian fried rice balls, are excellent, as is the cuttlefish cooked in its own ink. Service is friendly and prices are reasonable for the area (considerably cheaper than a weekend in Venice at any rate). Offshoot Polpetto above the French House has proved, if anything even more popular and the new Polpo Cicheti Bar in the basement is a very welcome addition, serving the, by now familiar, Italian nibbles known as cicheti and tramezzini, Italian mini-sandwiches.