I had time for one final lunch in London so took a tip from the internet, specifically a tweet I’d seen from Xanthe Clay extolling the virtues of a relatively newly arrived Italian called Bancone.
Located just next to St Martin’s in the Field and the National Gallery, it’s a prime location for which you might expect to pay a substantial premium. Instead, what you find is a buzzing and stylish informal, bar-dining Italian at a very reasonable price-point.
I took up station at the bar after a warm welcome from front-of-house leader Will.
I already knew the lamb and rosemary ragu with freshly made tagliatelle was top of my list for main course, but I took a moment or two to consider other selections.
I did this over some plump nocellara olives and a Kernel table beer, both of which were excellent.
I chose to start with their arancini. These were a trio of breaded rice balls, presented with no frills, bringing together mushroom, nduja and dolcelatte varieties. The shells were crisp and the fillings deeply flavourful with the mushroom one notably good.
The main course was a buttery dream. The pasta was of splendid quality and the ragu packed with rosemary fragrance and all the meaty flavour from profuse lamb morsels. It was a belter of a dish.
I rounded things out with good dark roast espresso and was left to reflect on a top quality lunch.
So overall, Bancone is a really handy place to know about serving really impressive dishes. It has prompt and very attentive service making it an attractive destination both for a quick lunch or a more relaxed and luxurious evening. I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in town.
Blythe scores Bancone
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: olives, arancini (nduja, dolcelatte, mushroom), lamb and rosemary with tagliatelle
I drank: table beer, red wine, water
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: £41.63
Address: 39 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DD