Pasta From Antico
Continuing on with my delicious ramble along South London’s happening Bermondsey Street, I thought it might be time to take a break and share a relaxed lunch with you at one of the street’s newer restaurants. Buon Appetito.
A relative newcomer to the Bermondsey scene offering classic Italian cuisine in a contemporary London setting, Antico is the answer to an often desperate Londoner’s question: Where can I get a proper plate of pasta in this town?
And with a couple of nicely priced set menus (two courses for £15 or three courses for £18 … roughly $23 and $28 respectively) a meal here doesn’t necessarily need to be super expensive dining experience. I can vouch heartedly for the linguine e vongole. If it’s on the blackboard, go for it! My ample mound of noodles was al dente enough to suit any Italian while soft enough for the average Brit or North American.
Yes, Antico’s kitchen seems to have figured out the key to preparing pasta perfectly. Of course, with head chef Nicholas Schizas at the helm, that makes sense. Nicholas is previously of Theo Randall at the Intercontinental – a restaurant regarded as the best Italian restaurant in London and renowned for being the enviable venue where notorious critic Jay Rayner said he had “the best meal I have eaten all year.”
This chef knows the tastes of local patrons too. Before coming to Antico, he was chef de partie just up the road at the especially popular Jose tapas bar. Beyond the pasta, Nicholas and his crew serve excellent fish and seafood. Scallop carpaccio with chives and lime dressing? Wow! They do brunch and even a Sunday roast here as well (a testament to owner Nick Crispini’s Anglo-Italian roots).
But it’s not just about a value for money lunch or Antico kitchen credentials. The fab food here is accompanied by an exclusively Italian, single-estate wine list – a collection carefully curated by owner Nick Crispini and featuring more than 40 bins divided by style with tasting notes for each as well as a plentiful selection of wines available by the glass.
There’s a killer downstairs bar at Antico too. With low stools, color-changing lighting and a widescreen TV screen that doubles as a mirror, it’s a stylish setting offering classic cocktails such as a perfectly-made negroni along with a range of inventive after dinner tipples such as the Jammy Dodger – Absolut Kurant, Smirnoff Vanilla, Frangelico and Chambord – and the Italian Flip, made from Amaretto, port, crème de cacao and nutmeg.
Antico Restaurant & Lounge Bar is located at 214 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ. The Nearest Tube station is London Bridge. Visit the restaurant online at antico-london.co.uk.
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photo: Chris Osburn