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Since the Romans left, the Italians have been operating a policy of conquering the world's palate, plate by plate, and traditionally-run family restaurants like Cotto are their failsafe. The welcome is unfailingly warm here, the decor is authentic in feel, with murals on the walls, and the pleasures of the table are taken seriously indeed. Cotto is well-sited for noshing down before or after family outings to the London Eye or Aquarium, and it's also very popular with business customers during the week. There's live music on offer, too. As for the menu, try classic Tricolor salad to start, one of more than a dozen pastas, like Spaghetti carbonara, and a main course of simply and beautifully grilled Sirloin steak. Or just opt for a pizza and be happy!

Venue name: Cotto
Address: 89 Westminster Road
Price: £25 and under

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Cotto does indeed serve a variety of gluten-free Italian food. It seems on first glance like a friendly lively popular place. However, the food, especially the tomato sauce in many food items, all tastes rather sugary. And the gluten free food (bread, pizza, pastas) all taste even more sugary. Also, beware -- the bread they 'offer' you before you get your menu is NOT FREE. If you discover this too late, be prepared for unpleasantness. In most London restaurants, if you are offered bread before your menu, it means it's free. (In other London restaurants where they dont do this, you order bread from the menu just like any other starter). But in Cotto, they offer it, without stating that it's not free; nor do they point to the price which is noted in the menu. If you express surprise, they get very defensive, point to the price in the menu, and tell you that you're in the wrong. (Interestingly, on their bill, it also states that the olives are not free -- but now they mysteriously are). Cotto could be a gluten-free heaven. But it's not worth subjecting yourself to unpleasant tastes, unpleasant financial suprises, and unpleasant staff behaviour.