Sunday, June 5, 2011

Da Polpo's Piadina Meatball Smash

The moment I heard that Da Polpo was majoring on meatballs I knew I’d be in there like a flash and 24 hours after the soft opening - or ‘preview’ as owner Russell Norman likes to call it (“soft opening always sounds a bit flaccid”) - I was.

I didn't even know that they were offering what was in effect a meatball sandwich - a piece of flatbread wrapped round a helping of sloppy meatballs which they’re calling a Piadana meatball smash. That might sound counterintuitive - I mean why make mince into meatballs only to pull them apart again but believe me it works. Especially with a sprinkling of cheese, which presumably accounts for the fact they cost almost twice as much as having the meatballs on their own.

I admit the photo doesn’t do it justice. I would make the excuse that I don’t like to spend too much time snapping away at table - and I don’t - but the fact is that my fellow blogger London Eater’s photo is far, far more professional and gives you a much better idea just how enticing this dish is. I didn’t even think of opening up the bread and breaking open the meatballs. Duh!

Oh and it was also insanely good with a fennel, curly endive and almond salad which you should order as a side.

Anyway I’m sure we’re going to be hearing a lot more about meatballs which have been a craze in New York for a while. 2011, the year of the meatball. You heard it here first. Well, probably about 21st. Whatever. Meatballs rock.

PS To fill in those of you who don’t follow the London restaurant scene obsessively, Da Polpo is the latest in a clever series of small, very cool Venetian-inspired restaurants which include Polpo, Polpetto and - just a few weeks ago - Spuntino. This is the biggest so far - and you can book which you can’t in Polpetto and Spuntino or in the evening at Polpo.

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