La Polenteria

Restaurants , Italian Soho
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(16 user reviews)
23 Love It
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Venue says: "How would you like to win a dinner for two at the UK's only gluten-free Italian restaurant? Check our social media and enter the comp!"

An Italian restaurant on Old Compton Street, with a menu going big on polenta.

When this Old Compton Street venue launched back in late 2013 it was one of a few restaurants at the time with single-item menus – in this case, polenta. It recently gave its menu a bit of a rejig to incorporate pasta dishes, though sweet and savoury polenta dishes still reign more or less supreme. It remains gluten-free.

Expect dishes such as polenta with asparagus, egg, scamorza cheese and truffle oil, and polenta gnocchi with truffle cheese, butter and sage alongside a flan of mustard cheese and speck, a courgette box with pickled shallots, and homemade beef ravioli with balsamic reduction, pine nuts and raisins.

Desserts include tiramisu, the La Polenteria cheesecake and a polenta crépe with macadamia nuts. The wine list is exclusively Italian, with every bottle available by the glass. 

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La Polenteria says
Rewriting the history of the London gluten-free food scene, at La Polenteria we are proud to be the only 100% gluten-free Italian restaurant in the UK, certified by CoeliacUK. Based in the very heart of Soho, here is where you'll find a wide range of polenta-based dishes, homemade fresh pasta, ravioli and much more! Vegan and vegetarian-friendly​, have your brunch, lunch or dinner with us, we are open all day! Fresh, healthy and flavoursome are the keywords of our all-new concept.
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Venue name: La Polenteria
Contact:
Address: 64 Old Compton Street
London
W1D 4UQ
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|16
2 people listening
Nathalie C
1 of 1 found helpful

At last I've found a restaurant that really gets what having food intolerances means to a customer. I've found somewhere I can go and be like any other normal diner, I have choice on the menu, and gluten free dishes that are tasty. I've a lot of love for these guys, and so has my tummy.

The Gluten Free C
1 of 1 found helpful

Simply the best Italian food, delicious and beautiful! It's also 100% gluten free so it's just perfect!

Haydon L

Absolutely wonderful food, with truly warm and efficient service, and a real taste of beautiful Italian flavours. By far and away one of the restaurants I enjoy going to the most.

renata m

If you’re looking for something really different, really handmade and really tasty, that’s the place for you. A totally amazing experience, good food, not so easy to find in London!!!And it’s all completely gluten free!!!!Some dishes are simply fantastic, wonderful creations, friendly staff, lovely location. Absolutely one of the best new ideas of restaurant, for brunch, lunch and dinner. Good luck for this competition guys

Cristina C

They are the only gluten-free Italian restaurant in Uk, which is already a good reason to nominate them! Their food is terrific, so is their service and when I went with my friends who eat "normal", they couldn't spot the difference! I really wish they will win.

Stephanie C
tastemaker

Being truly gluten free due to medical reasons not because its Im following the latest fad..... I was dying to try this place and boy I was NOT disappointed. The menu is comprehensive and youre not overwhelmed with choice but theres enough to make it interesting and varied. The waiter was really knowledgeable and seemed passionate about where the food is sourced and how the restaurant came about. The actual food was rather heavy (hey its polenta!) but really tasty so come very hungry. The side salad is £3.50 and boys its not just a leaf or two. It's a massive bowl and so tasty. The only downside was this place is rather small and so you cant but help over hear conversations around you and then you talk up to hear what your party are saying which means other tables talk up and before you know it the atmosphere is slightly shouty. Still, I didnt care, I was too busy chomping on amazing gnocci. Perhaps a little bit of background music will help but seriously if you crave pasta, gnocci or a good alternative to Pizza Express this place is totally for you :) 

Tamara B
Tastemaker

We took my friend's 4 year old son here who was visiting from Switzerland and who has coeliac disease. It was amazing for him to be in an entire restaurant that's gluten free and being able to choose whatever he liked on the menu. I tried a bit of his ravioli which was tasty and which he ate all of. It's a small restaurant with friendly staff and the atmosphere was better than going to for example Pizza Express which has gluten free options on the menu. The food was ok. I do really like the idea that there's an entire gluten free restaurant as some people must avoid gluten for serious health reasons and not just if they're following a fad diet. 

Laura G
Tastemaker

Self advertised as a gluten free italian option, La Polenteria gets creative with the corn flour that is the base for the polenta. You can have it creamy, as in most places, but also on the shape of a pie, gnocchi, and pasta filling. The place is simple but nice, but the food is a bit average, with limited wine selection.

Chesca R
Tastemaker

Who knew the polenta was so very versatile. A super choice for a place to eat if you have a vegan buddy, they cater for veggies and meat eaters too. The polenta gnocchi with truffle cheese is rich and silky. They do a great value set lunch menu which I have had a couple of times which included polenta bruschetta, grilled polenta with blue cheese and walnut sauce and absolutely delicious coffee (from a coffee machine shipped over from Italy) served with lemon polenta biscuits. If polenta isn't your thing then pop in for a coffee and a chat with the staff they are super lovely. 

Michelle v

I love this place; the staff is very friendly and the food yummie and fresh. All the dishes I've tried so far were excellent for the price.

Javier S
Staff Writer

Have tried polenta in Italy a few years ago, and wanted to go to a restaurant focused on it.

They create cool and "sophisticated" dished with polenta. Food is really good. I recommended because polenta is a different meal, it's cheap and well located!

Helen

The only good thing about this restaurant is the location.Over priced microwaved meals.No thanks.

I'm surprised is even on this list, come on time out, I`m sure you know better....

Díana B

It's ok, but quite stodgy. Polenta is probably one of the cheapest things you can buy and in Italy is considered "poor food" so I think the prices are extortionate when you bare this in mind. Also my food was very obviously microwaved, there was one waiting staff and when I walked past the kitchen the lights were off & no chef in sight... so I can't say I was at all impressed.

Linda

I too can't believe that TimeOut rated it 3 stars! I just returned from London from a 2 week vacation and had to stick to a gluten-free / milk-free diet, and finding places that cater to those dietary restrictions is difficult. Most restaurants in London did an okay job at having gluten-free / milk-free options but this place by far served one of the most tasty meals during my two weeks. I had the Pollo alla Romana and the Rocket with fennel, green beans, oranges and olives, and topped it off with a brownie. They also had a lot of vegan options. The owners very friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere was bright and comfortable. Having been spoiled by New York City and San Francisco cuisine, this measured right up to what you would find in either of those cities. Again, not so of a lot of places I ate in London, living up to the American stereotype that British food is often not very good and completely over-priced. 


Also, Time Out has them listed under Chinatown area but it's really much closer to Covent Garden and Soho, one block from Shaftesbury Avenue. 

Ricardo

I can't believe time out has rated 3 stars! The food was delicious and comforting... Perfect in this cold weather! I had the caponata and my partner the goulash. 100% recommend. Lovely friendly atmosphere, good prices especially for soho n the staff are very pleasant! Make sure u try the vegan Cupcakes- yummy!!!