For more updates...

Monday, 21 March 2016

An affair with Mele e Pere

Do you ever have those moments when you genuinely consider making a den under your desk, complete with cushions and an oversized fluffy duvet, just to save yourself the bother of yet another morning rush hour commute?! You know, those days when you’re either still in the office at 21:00 or still drinking in some Soho dive at midnight (just long enough to miss the last tube, naturally!), but you have to be back in le office again in just a few short hours and the only thing happening between those times is a mildly restless sleep (my mandated 09:00 start has over the years, somehow morphed into a silently tolerated 09:30, not because I’m a hip corporate dissident you see, but because at 33 years old, I still cannot drag my burger-encrusted rump out of bed at an hour that seems altogether socially unacceptable, especially in dark winter months). Anyways, tonight was yet another of those nights. I finished work late and conveniently baited a friend into a wanky cocktail before journeying home. The cocktail never happened (too late for BOGOF at B@1 it would seem!), but we did stumble upon Mele e Pere neatly blushing on Brewer Street.

Designed to mimic a traditional neighbourhood trattoria as best it can do on the urban streets of Soho (not so much, by the way!), it appears to be a tiny bolthole on first impression, quietly humming with folk occupying the window seats with small plates and vino. But of course though, because this is London, there is a staircase leading to an intimate basement that positively buzzes with occasional diners and peppy workers; so peppy infact, that I'm pretty sure our waiter offered himself on a plate at least twice! I forget his name now, but whoever you are treasure, long live your opportunistic table manner and I hope you are by now philandering as frequently as your Latino pants can carry you!

Tagliatelle with beef ragu (£8.00 / £15.00)
Leading with drinks, I realise all is not what it seems! Yes, I can get some pretty decent Italian wine and of course, I can bathe in Prosecco (which I did!), but first and foremost, this is a vermouth bar. Who knew such a thing existed?! Not I, it would seem! Are we staring down the barrel of a new trend, set to usurp the resurgence of gin in the capital?! I thought vermouth was just an odd tasting liquor that gets splashed into a martini and fondue – evidently though, as I have since learned, this stuff is a type of Italian fortified wine, flavoured with various botanicals that comes in white, red, amber and rose varieties, and is either sweet or dry (sometimes extra dry). I bow to the concept and wholeheartedly applaud the extensive choice on offer, but I'm afraid that since my very subjective palate tells me I don’t like its medicinal tones, I must stick with my bubbles.

Black ink orecchiette, parlourde clams,
courgettes and chilli
Moving onto the food then, bubbles in tow, I am drawn to the small plates because the main meat and fish options seem rather overpriced for the unfussy trattoria concept I've been thus far sold on. After the obligatory Bread and Focaccia (£3.00), I reverted to my default plea when I can’t decide between two dishes – can I have a small version of both please, kind sir?! Thankfully, the Tagliatelle with Beef Ragu (£8.00 / £15.00) was already offered in little or large portions, but our frisky waiter also gracefully allowed me to sample the Black Ink Orecchiette, parlourde clams, courgettes and chilli (price unknown!) in a beautiful miniature bowl. My only regret is that I didn't also get the Potato Gnocchi with Umbria Black Truffle (£11.00 / £20.00). Incidentally, this is precisely why you can’t tear me away from a buffet and why a tasting menu is the superior choice in the more upmarket of eateries – one must try a little of everything!

Italians may all be as crazy as a box of frogs, but they do know how to create sublime perfection out of gastronomic simplicity. I loved that our frolicsome waiter was in tune with the bijou but confident menu, that the chefs plated up some delightful food (not earth shattering, but very pleasing nevertheless), and that the vermouth bar is an innovative idea, setting them aside from the pack. Mele e Pere is not mind-blowingly sensational, but it certainly has enough of the good stuff for a very cheerful shout out! 


Square Meal  Mele e Pere Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment