COOL- ish restaurant: Spuntino

Posted on September 6, 2011 by

0


very soho tapas joint

words: Tomek Mossakowski
Spuntino, a tiny American diner-cum-tapas restaurant, is aggro to find. No sign, no telephone number, no bookings. Yeah one of those but it’s in Soho so you’ll find it in the end. Despite its attempts to hide from the paying customer, it’s diabolically popular.

The decor isn’t exactly ‘diner’. More ‘exposed ventilation shaft’ COOL. The staff: well! A seductively tattooed waitress looked like she may be the tastiest thing on the menu. And seeing as the food was pretty darn good – that’s quite a compliment to her. I gave my boyfriend a gentle tap on the elbow to acknowledge:

“Check out the waitress”

He looked at the waiter, having misheard. Said waiter stared back at us.

Boyfriend was confused, and appeared slightly jealous. I became confused, and then hostile. More confusion followed until I finally explained what I’d meant. Our confusion, jealousy and hostility turned into laughter and relief. And he agreed: she was smoking hot.

The menu is inspired by retro American food, a niche I’m obsessed with. Last week I made corn dogs. This week it was ’50s meatloaf. Next week it’s coronary embolism. So you can imagine the level of anticipation (my groin was quivering) I had for Spuntino. The food didn’t disappoint. The rest kinda did.

Check out the sliders (bite-size burgers), eggplant chips with fennel yoghurt and the peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwich for good times. The popcorn at the beginning was pretty exciting too.

[/caption]

the eggplant chips we liked

A simple steak and fried egg may have been the best. Forget the unimpressive and pricey drinks menu, which lags way behind the trendy chow.

We were in just after 6pm and we just got a seat. The rest of the diner fills up with hateful onlookers who have a drink and stare at your choices. I’ve never felt so pressed to finish my food, even in the days when Deep Space Nine used to be on directly after tea.

Thankfully, the COOL waitress was there to take my mind off the harrowing queues. I was just about to ask if she was edible and whether I should get the coleslaw with that when the door opened:

“Oh hi, do you have a table for two? Oh. How long is the wait? An hour. Oh,” said the disappointed couple.

With a wall of covetous stares behind you, topped off by a £70 bill for two, I guess all that’s left to say after a trip to Spuntino, is ‘oh’.

Spuntino feels a little UNCOOL in the end. The food’s good but it’s the experience that attracts the crowds. And it’s the crowd that killed the experience for me.

Spuntino: 61 Rupert Street, W1D 7PW



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