This Soho stalwart has served up unfussy Umbrian dishes since 1971 (and in this location since 1989). It is convenient for pre-theatre fill-ups, but don’t expect much privacy; the cramped tables are so closely packed, a meal here approaches communal dining. Like a reliable old uncle with no aspirations to modernity, the Pavilion seems content with its decidedly untrendy, old-school decor and workmanlike service. The menu changes twice a day. If you choose badly – as we did with a swordfish that was unevenly cooked and pink in places – it can seem overpriced. Dinner has a minimum spend of £26.50 for two courses, and the meat- or fish-based mains often need a side dish, which further raises the cost. The lunch menu is more flexible. Simple, unfussy dishes could include lamb steak with rosemary and cannellini beans, or grilled salmon on lentils. Plump, spinach- and ricotta-stuffed tortelloni was clearly made in-house, but was far from memorable, despite the addition of fragrant sage. Desserts are all-round crowd-pleasers such as chocolate fudge cake and straightforward panna cotta. In short, this is a trad Italian that could be a comforting fall-back were it less cramped and clamorous.
Vasco & Piero's Pavilion
|Venue name:||Vasco & Piero's Pavilion||Contact:|
15 Poland Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 5.30-10.30pm Mon-Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube|
|Price:||Main courses £9.50-£20. Set lunch £15 2 courses. Set dinner (5.30-7pm) £19.50 2 courses; £26.50 2 courses, £31.50 3 courses.|