Considering the amount of pasta on offer at this restaurant, dinner is anything but leggero, meaning ‘light’ in Italian. But this is a carb-fest with a difference, as Leggero is also totally gluten-free. It feels like one of Soho’s classic no-frills Italian restaurants, just with the unique benefit of catering to restricted diets.
At Leggero, ravioli, gnudi, carbonara and tiramisu – pretty much all the Italian wheaty wonders that are usually off-limits to anyone avoiding gluten – are here in all their glory.
The menu includes small plates and starters to share, followed by larger pasta dishes and classic desserts. If you’re coeliac, vegan or have any allergies you won’t have to navigate through all the things you can’t eat or put the waiter through a rigorous cross-examination: the passionate staff were positively delighted to tell us about the free-from options. It’s somewhere gluten-free diners could happily take friends for dinner, without dreading the inevitable comparisons with how food is ‘supposed’ to taste.
The bruschetta trio featured generous slices of gluten-free bread with an earthy lentil spread, fresh tomatoes, and a salty-sweet gorgonzola, pear and lavender honey topping. The fresh handmade tomato pappardelle was a shock of soft, supple pink ribbons, with perfect al dente bite, under a dark bolognese sauce. Spoons were fighting over the tiramisu’s light sponge, creamy topping and heavy dusting of cocoa; it could have gone undercover on any Italian menu. Only the lamb meatballs and bolognese sauce would have benefited from more depth: these felt like quite ordinary renditions of Italian classics.
Make a reservation, as this little restaurant is busy from the start to end of service.