Bancone in Covent Garden: Indulgent yet affordable Italian food in a vibrant setting
Since Bancone opened its doors in June 2018, it has received nothing but high praise and rave reviews. So to celebrate World Pasta Day, we popped down to their Covent Garden location for a tasting. Offering fresh pasta all day, the restaurant is set up so that the majority of the tables offer counter seating. This gives diners a front-row view as they get to watch the chefs work their magic on a selection of fresh ingredients, all within arm’s reach.
After we’d taken our seats we ordered a couple of antipasti dishes. We started with the Stracchino-Filled Fried Polenta with Sautéed Girolles Mushrooms and then the Italian Cured Meats: Coppa, Bresaola, Lardo Pepe and Smoked Duck Breast. Both were absolutely delicious and made for a very tasty start to the meal.
Then it was onto the main event – the pasta! We went for the Silk Handkerchiefs with walnut butter and topped with a mesmerising confit egg yolk. As the signature house dish, this delivered on all fronts. It was smooth and indulgent, with each mouthful gliding across my palate in one marvellous sweep.
We also had the Pappardelle with Sautéed Chicken Livers, Brandy and Sage Butter. This plate was surprisingly light and buttery with a strong, but not overpowering, gamey flavour punching through.
For dessert, we tried the Red Wine-Poached Pear, Yoghurt Foam and Honeycomb, and the Gianduja Chocolate Brûlée, which was blowtorched right before our eyes. The brûlée was an absolute winner, boasting a perfectly caramelised top before giving way to nutty textured flavours.
Bancone certainly lives up to the hype and there really isn’t anything to dislike. It can only be described as an asset to the neighbourhood, offering reasonably-priced homemade food and a lively ambience. With a buzz of constant chatter coursing through the restaurant and enthusiastic service throughout the entire meal, it’s times like these that you’re grateful places like this exist in London.
And in even more exciting news, Bancone have announced a second site in London’s Soho which will be opening on Lower James Street in December. The new venue will cater to around 90 diners and the team have been busy creating a menu of everyday favourites and extending the wine list. Given its new high-flying location and the prospect of reaching even more diners, the future is certainly looking bright for Bancone!
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Alex Julie Woods
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at Bancone, 39 William IV Street Charing Cross London WC2N 4DD, call 020 7240 8786 or visit their website here.