Antico, Bermondsey

Bermondsey Street is one of my favourite London roads and it seems to be getting even better with the arrival of lovely restaurants like Antico. This relaxed eatery serves up traditional and stylish Italian cuisine in a charming and comfortable setting. The restaurant is cheerful and chirpy with accommodating and thoughtful staff, the perfect place to meet with friends for an evening meal and catch up.

As I often do, I tweeted before my visit to Antico, and the online team advised me to try two things: the Aperol Spritz aperitif and the special venison ragu. Naturally I chose both… Aperol seems to be very on trend at the moment, the luminous marigold orange spirit is served in a large glass with prosecco and a splash of soda, plenty of ice cubes and a segment of orange. It felt like a very vintage and fun drink to sip.

The starters are very generous: I chose the Burrata, aubergine, caramelised onions, rocket and hazelnuts, my guest ordered Devon crab with radish, shallots and rocket. Both were cleverly constructed: delicate flavours combined to create attractive and delectable dishes. If you like the rich and creamy taste of burrata you will love this recipe, a unique contrast of subtle cheese, soft tangy onions, peppery rocket and crunchy nuts. The crab looked appealing too, a delicate, light starter. To accompany our meal I trusted our waitress to choose a suitable white… she returned with a bottle of Inama – Campo dei Tovi Soave Classico 2010, refreshing and fruity.

My venison ragu was insanely good, tender torn meat and intensely flavoured sauce with delicious homemade pasta. The bowl arrived with a side shot of liqueur to be drunk with the dish however the diner chooses. I wasn’t quite sure about this addition, apparently some decide to pour it in to mix with the pasta, I chose to just sip it occasionally. My guest chose the Ribeye steak (35 day aged) with marinated grilled zucchini & peperonata… it was a good piece of meat cooked exactly to specification with fresh and vibrant vegetables, though seemed a little bland compared to my exquisite pasta.

There wasn’t much space for puddings but we tried a couple from the select menu. The tiramisu was rather clumsily presented but tasted authentic and indulgent. My guest chose a simple bowl of caramel gelato, homemade and creamy. Had I been less concerned about sleeping that night, I would have tried the coffee which judging by a nearby table, looked divine.

I haven’t visited many good Italian restaurants in London, so I was delighted to discover Antico. If you manage to make it along, try to visit on a Wednesday when they have live music for the guests to enjoy while they eat.

Visit the website here for more information.