Whether I’m close to home or travelling, I get so much joy from taking myself out for a flash meal. There’s no rush to meet up with anyone or intense conversations to keep up with so I can sit back and really take the time to concentrate and savour the atmosphere and food. You miss so much when you’re not paying attention.
Another bonus about solo dining is being seated in busy restaurants, when they are turning groups without bookings away.
Towards the end of my European adventure I was lusting for more of the great Italian food I’d enjoyed while visiting Italy. While tasting my way through Soho on a food tour with London From Scratch, Michelle suggested I dine at Venetian restaurant Polpo. And just my luck – there was one in Notting Hill, a short walk from where I was staying.
It was a weeknight, the restaurant was quite busy and the hostess was only seating with bookings. Thankfully for me, there were a few empty stools at the bar so I took a seat and chatted to the hunky Italian barman. *wink*
As I often do when eating out, especially when going it alone, I ask the server for veg dish recommendations. Not only is it an excellent way to strike up a conversation, who better than to suggest great dishes than the staff who work with the food and know the menu?
Polpo’s menu is made up of small dishes which lends itself to ordering a few taste plates and this concept works really well with groups. While sipping on a fancy cocktail I started with the warm summer salad of fresh and crunchy asparagus with broad beans, peas and mint and the light potato and parmesan crocchettes with a crisp outer and fluffy insides. Both dishes were lovely and I was grateful for not having to share!
After a little time to reflect and people watch it was time for the main and a small bowl arrived with chickpea, spinach and ricotta balls in a tomato sauce on spaghetti. As is common with Italian cuisine, the dish wasn’t drowned in sauce which meant I could appreciate the fresh pasta.
I really enjoyed dinner at Polpo, especially having dined so soon after a visit to Venice. It took my mind back to those sunny, carefree days in Italy where I was never in a rush and always on the lookout for beautiful food. The staff at Poplo were friendly and the dishes I ordered were simple and full of flavour which is everything I love about Italian cuisine.
Friends, I’d love to hear about your dining experiences. Are you a fan of eating at restaurants on your own?
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