Sitting pretty at Spuntino
Spuntino is one of those places that insists on the current fashion of a no booking policy – you show up and take a seat when it comes available. On the plus side there seems to be a fairly quick turnover (seating might be a factor here…) so the wait is not too long. Time your arrival well and it may even be just a few minutes, as it was for us early on Saturday evening.
Spuntino has little signage and is definitely going for a Prohibition feel – subdued lighting and a jazz music vibe. We joined the short queue just behind the bar and were promised a wait of no more than 20 minutes. We ordered drinks and were called to a place at the bar just a few minutes later. We appeared to have scored a “lovers perch” – a double bar stool barely wide enough for two non-model physiques. It wasn’t the most comfortable, and led to some clashing of elbows while eating, but we survived. As I mentioned earlier, Spuntino is not the place to linger – we were done and dusted in little over an hour. Most of the seating at Spuntino is on individual bar stools, but even they did not look the most inviting… I have seen bigger saucers!
On to the Spuntino fare. F was happy with the prosecco on offer wheares I stayed with gin & tonic – fevertree tonic of course We chose to share a few dishes. As we were eating quite early (around 6:30pm) we didn’t have the biggest appetites so settled for fried aubergine chips with a fennel dip, deep fried olives stuffed with anchovy, a pulled pork slider, truffle egg toast (a Spuntino ‘classic’ I believe) and the spicy sausage with grits. Aubergine is referred to as eggplant on the menu – another nod to US Prohibition I guess. We agreed that the aubergine chips were just heavenly, the fennel dip providing a real freshness to the dish. The truffle egg toast was delicious too, the truffle oil and egg yolk adding a little luxury to the dish. We ordered another portion of the aubergine chips and a pickled pear and gorgonzola salad just to fully sate our appetities. The pickled pear and creamy gorgonzola was a sublime combination.
An advantage of sitting around the bar is that it never takes long to order more drinks – of mutual benefit to both the customer and the proprietor. Tap water was also in plentiful supply from the ever friendly and helpful staff. By the time we were ready to leave the queue of expectant diners was growing. I like Spuntino but I don’t like queueing – I would return, but only for an early supper…