• Italian• Covent Garden
London’s love of fresh pasta shows no signs of slowing down, with Bancone one of a few to-quality and great-value restaurants making fresh pasta daily and using it in a short menu of traditional and new-school dishes. Creative dishes like pappardelle with sautéed chicken livers, brandy and sage butter join freshly baked focaccia on an immediately likeable menu.
Bancone means ‘counter’ in Italian. Although there are plenty of tables available for a longer sitting, eating at the counter around the open kitchen is always a great way to combine getting close to the action with a bit of people-watching.
The first Bancone restaurant was set up by Will Ellner and his business partner David Ramsay, before opening in Soho and Golden Square. The pair can now call upon the expertise of Claudio Melis, a seasoned Italian chef. He runs a Michelin-starred restaurant in northern Italy and now serves as the group’s culinary director.
Bancone is an Italian restaurant just off of Trafalgar Square, and it’s really, really nice. From the outside you can watch through the window as they make fresh pappardelle, and if you’ve got a reservation (which you’ll need if you’re coming here at peak time), you can be sat down and eating that pappardelle within half an hour. See, nice.
You come to Bancone to devour cheap, delicious pasta at the bar, and to people-watch those around you doing the same thing.
What a relief to find a reasonably priced, knockout neighbourhood Italian in London’s West End
The original Bancone opened in Covent Garden last year to rapturous reviews (Grace Dent called it ‘casually orgasmic’). One of London’s great fresh pasta specialists, it’s entirely focussed on rolling out the fresh stuff every day alongside an Italian-leaning wine list.