Since the first Polpo opened in Beak Street in 2009, the intimate, understated bar has quickly expanded and become one of the best new restaurants in London. Polpo claims to emulate the bàcaro of Venice, a stripped down restaurant that serves simple small plates and local wines: and so far, it has more than succeeded.
Their sixth venture promises to be no different: housed in a large Georgian townhouse in the heart of Chelsea, Polpo Chelsea will fuse elements found in their other venues with the features of the new house itself. Their trademark leather banquets will combine with huge Georgian sash windows and antique maps of Venice to create the stripped-down atmosphere of a Venetian bàcaro, replete with delicious rustic small-plates.
In this setting, diners are invited to sample traditional Venetian cicheti, a bit like an Italian version of tapas, which includes artichoke and speck (an Italian cured ham) crostini. Or they can chose from a small selection of pizzette with toppings such as smoked mozzarella and white anchovy.
There are also bigger small plates such as pork belly with radicchio and hazelnuts and fritto misto, an array of seafood including squid and whitebait, fried in a light batter and served with a wedge of lemon. For those with a sweet tooth there is also a range of simple Italian desserts and digestifs on offer ranging from the classic Tiramisu, which is a dish local to Venice itself, to a flourless lemon and almond cake.
This hearty Italian fare can all be washed down with a selection of wines from their exclusively Italian wine list, including their own brand of Polpo wine and prosecco. Or you're invited to start your meal with a spritz, a traditional Venetian apperetivo made with Aperol or Campari, prosecco, soda water and a slice of orange.
As with all the other Polpo restaurants, Polpo Chelsea doesn’t take bookings in the evening, only during the day. So if you’re planning on popping in for dinner we'd expect a reasonably lengthy wait at the bar, where you can enjoy a spritz and some cicheti, to get a real feel of Venice – in the heart of Chelsea.
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Read our list of the best new restaurants in Chelsea:
|Where||POLPO, 81 Duke of York Square, London , SW3 4LY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
18 May 15 – 31 Jan 16, 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to go to Polpo's website.|