Restaurants, Diners Soho
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(60user reviews)
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For a lesson in how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, head to Spuntino. A challenge to find (look for ‘number 61’), the venue is laid out as a bar – and a tiny one at that, with a smattering of fixed, backless seats allowing diners to perch along the counter.

This is no wholesome 1950s-style diner, but a dark, grungy space where dim lights dangle in cages, the walls are cracked and battered, and the staff sport daring tattoos under flimsy vests (and that’s just the girls). The anti-establishment vibe trickles into the menu, which is Italian-American with plenty of ‘additude’. Served mostly on all-the-rage enamelled tin dishes, food features big bold flavours packed into tiny portions: from our dinky slider (mini-burger), filled with moist pulled pork and pickled apple, to a black-edged pizzetta (mini-pizza) topped with long stems of pleasantly bitter cicoria (Italian dandelion), thin salami slices and a hit of chilli.

The salads are equally innovative, as seen in a tumble of kohlrabi (a mild turnip) and apple with crumbly feta, hazelnuts and black sesame seeds. Only dessert proved a let-down; our chocolate, pecan and bourbon cake had plenty of nuts but no discernible liquor. We wondered whether the bartenders had necked it on the sly.


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Spuntino says
Spuntino serves small plates like Polpo but this restaurant takes its theme from downtown New York. The menu offers dishes including mac 'n' cheese, truffled egg toast, eggplant chips and pulled pork sliders. The site evokes nineteenth-century machine-age Brooklyn.
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Venue name: Spuntino
Address: 61 Rupert Street
Opening hours: Meals served noon-12.45am Mon-Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
Price: Main courses £5-£10Meal for two with wine and service: around £60
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