Small dishes. I don’t know if we’ve been conditioned by our years of channel flicking to be unable to commit. Whatever it is, I like it. It’s very much a part of my culinary history being half Jordanian and growing up in Greece.
Spuntino is the third restaurant in the portfolio of Russell Norman and Richard Beatty (they’ve previously done two Italian restaurants Polpo and Polpetto). It’s American inspired food served in a chic distressed interior, with chipped glazed tiles. You eat at the wrap around bar where you are served by gorgeous young things that look like their other job is posing for American Apparel adverts. Besides being easy on the eye, the kids have a casual serving technique, sauntering over nonchalantly to give me a tin mug of warm chili popcorn while I studied the menu.I get the spicy mackerel slider (£4.50), panzanella (£5.50) salad and the soft shell crab with tabasco mayonnaise (£8.50). Tabasco mayonnaise? inspired. In my head I go: “yes, Yes, YES!” and mentally pound on the counter Sally Albright style and the guy next to me reads my mind and says “I’ll have what she’s having.”Dessert; peanut butter and jelly sandwich (£6.50), which turns out to be two slices of peanut butter ice cream with runny raspberry jam. Crispy bits littered on top and around.
The food is good. But I love the completeness of the concept. I have a BA in Art History, an MA in Marketing and a Chef’s diploma from Leiths. For me, a good restaurant model is a thing of beauty. It’s an industry that operates on silly margins and where the culling statistics of new ventures is chilling. But just like marriage, a similarly perilous undertaking – statistically speaking, people still do it. I love the hope and optimism of that, closet softie that I am.
61 Rupert Street
W1d 7PW, London
“no telephone, no reservations”