Spuntino is a down and dirty American diner, transported it seems from the mean streets of New York City into the grittier end of Soho, right next to a bar of questionable repute. The interior is that kind of derelict space that costs an absolute bucketload but had it been authentic grit, would have you reaching for that hand sanitiser faster than you can say Inner city.
In keeping with all that trendy, it’s No Reservations, not even a phone number, oh no, that would interfere with the vibe of it all and while usually that sort of thing drives me bananas, this isn’t a place to come with a group, it’s designed for solo diners, 2 friends, maybe 3 at a stretch and so reservations are something you can do without. While we wait, we stand along one side and get busily stuck into a bottle of Prosecco, with Tumblers to drink out of. Come on, this is Soho.
To be fair, it’s only around 20 minutes or so before we’re tucked in at one end of the bar, the area towards the door has a lot more light so it’s nice to be on that side of the room. The menu is made up of a lot of small things perfect for sharing, so that’s exactly what we do.
I want to order one of everything but luckily I’m somewhat restrained – so things kick off with eggplant fritters, buttermilk chicken and a slider to share.
Despite the oiliness of the yellow foods we’ve ordered, there is some lightness there. The fennel yoghurt doesn’t add a lot to the eggplant fritters, which could have been a little more crunchy, but the batter is very moreish with the soft eggplant instead. The buttermilk chicken is not as oily as you might think and is crunchy, but I think it could have used a teensy bit more spice to it. The slider though, the slider steals the show. Soft brioche bun with a meaty flavourful patty. Mmmm…
For the ‘mains’ as it were, we opt for a few of the larger plates. Zucchini, chilli and mint pizzetta and their famous Mac and cheese. The Mac and cheese is a heart attack waiting to happen and can I suggest to keep away from any other plates if you’re going down this road!
Dessert was a bad idea. Not because it wasn’t utterly delicious, a burnt sugar caramelised cake like top, a rich chocolate ice cream sandwiched in the middle. But after that Mac & Cheese sloshing around inside, the few mouthfuls of an equally sinful dessert was just too much to bear.
Next time I’m in the neighbourhood, I’m going to order a lot more sensibly, save the Mac & Cheese for a starving crowd and opt for the sliders – maybe even give their plates of green things a go.