Pasta Pasta Pasta

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Pasta Pasta Pasta

Bancone, the italian that will save you every time

Affordable drinks and home-made pasta in the heart of the West End. Shall I say more?

Bancone is a little gem, really. As the peeps at The Guardian described it: casually orgasmic and deeply affordable, the Italian restaurant succeeds in all marks. Drinks are cheap (a glass of vino for a fiver? I’m SOLD), food is excellent.

WHAT will you get? Pasta, pasta, pasta. If you want pizza, this is not your place. Pasta? As much as you like. The restaurant certainly specializes on delivering the best fresh pasta but also has incredible antipasti. If you ask us, you should definitely try the panelle with smoke duck breast, lardo & whipped anchovies and the cime di rapa (turnip tops) with garlic and chilli. Mouth is watering just reminiscing of it! As for the mains, their Beef shin ‘ossobuco’ ravioli with saffron butter is rich but incredible, and their octopus and nduja with olives is also superb.

Another thing that we really appreciated here was the service. Very attentive peeps; most servers where italian and so were the chefs, which is always a plus.

WHERE is it ? Right next to St Martin In The Fields, by Trafalgar square. More precisely, 39 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD

WHEN is it open? Great news. For once a restaurant in London serves up until 11pm! You can get there closer to the time and still manage to get all the yummy food in the menu. BOOM.

Certainly the perfect spot for pre and post-theatre food. And get this: you can book.

TCB xx

YANKEES, a Foodie Monster in NYC

People sometimes tell me I am mistaken, but I really need to check my facts here cause I definitely feel NYC is small when compared to London. We have about the same amount of people leaving in both cities (8.7M in Greater London vs 8.5M in NYC) but when it comes to distances London feels definitely larger.

Distances and travelling time are reduced in NYC, which is kinda nice from a Londoner's point of view. I wonder though, if I would then ran out of places to try out? Then again, this is NYC. A new restaurant pops up every week, if not more often. 

This time around my troupe and I mainly stayed around Soho, Chinatown and LES (with some BK adventures, obvs), so all my suggestions will be mainly centered there!

Enjoy it careless readers, 

TCB xx

Italians Do It Better

WHAT? Yes, you've heard it right. Italians do it better. Or rather british, really? Because Luca, it's a mixture of both. British produce and italian menu, BRITALIAN.

WHERE? Farringdon/ Clerkenwell area, more specifically: 88 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4EH

WHEN? Anytime (except Sundays) between noon and 10,30pm. 

WHY? If you like home made italian classics with a british touch, this is certainly your place. The venue is the second restaurant of founders of The Clove's Club, kind of an institution in the foodie London scene. 

Many had high expectations, but to be honest, I was just happy to try a new restaurant, specially cause one of my friends was at the kitchen!

The venue itself is very cutting-edge, a modern restaurant with a vintage touch. Apparently, they are also setting up a courtyard for the summer, which I am really excited about. 

As for the food: certainly mouth-watering. We kick-started with some bubbles while waiting for our starters, which included the infamous parmesan fries, scallops with smashed wasabi peas and octopus. YUM!? We also shared our mains as we were to excited to try as many dishes as possible. Fresh pasta is always a winner and therefore my favourite main was probably the vegetarian lasagna, along with the steak tartare. Dessert followed with a delicious tiramisu paired with an amaretto on the rocks.

All in all a 'must try' if you are around the area, certainly.

Craving for Pizza

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

What? Pizza Pilgrims. Where? All the action happens between Soho and Carnaby. I personally prefer the restaurant in Dean St in Soho, as it was their first opening. However, you can also dine in Kingly St in Carnaby.

Why? First of all, who doesn't like italian? And more over, who doesn't like pizza?

Having said that, I think finding a good pizza is key, and sometimes tough. I am quite happy by having Domino's from time to time (don't you?) but that is not what a proper italian pizza tastes like. And the guys from Pizza Pilgrims now it.

The story behind Pizza Pilgrims starts with two brothers who went on a pilgrimage around Italy to improve their cooking skills. After their visit to Italy, they came back to London and decided to start their own business...with a van! The couple started the pop up restaurant on Facebook telling Londoners where they would be for the day. They would park their van and start cooking and serving their delicacies! BRILLIANT.

I never managed to see the van myself, but the it is still going on tour from time to time. Currently, you can find it parked at Swingers in Shoreditch.

But let's cut to the chase. Once more, the menu is not vast, which for some would mean disappointment but to me means excellence. You don't need to have a massive menu to run a great restaurant. If anything, less is more. Their pizzas are done from scratch, which means you are in for a treat. And the options are pretty damn good. The crust is perfect and all the food in the pizza is simply delicious.  They've also got some starters while you wait for your pizza (I suggest you try the artichokes with ham!) and if by the end of it you are still not full, they've got an amazing range of desserts.

I didn't manage to get any desserts (sadly, I was too full). And they've got a Nutella & Ricotta pizza ring that it is to die for. The guys at the table seating next to us had it and I was so jealous. But oh well, it just means I will have to go back.

When? They are open Monday to Sunday, although opening times vary depending on the restaurant. The kitchen closes at 10,30pm in Soho, which to me is quite soon (spaniards start having dinner at that time!) and the restaurant in Carnaby closes by 11pm.

But in any case, if you fancy a good pizza, and you are out and about in town, this is your place.

TCB x

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