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Trendy Euro tapas, more SoHo than Soho
Empire-building restaurateur Russell Norman indulges his love of all things New York and Italian in this, his (and Richard Beatty's) third central London enterprise. Opened in April 2011 and located within inches of everything that is Soho and gay, Spuntino ('snack' in Italian) is a cramped but immaculately designed table-free space in which half its customers are waiting for a stool at the bar, where the other half sit enjoying tasty and well-prepared ethnicity-straddling tapas. The decor is neo-industrial and faux decay, and the buzz is determinedly more New York than London, while the food is genuinly very good. No phone. No reservations. Queueing is practically de rigeur, though less so than in its early and buzzier days. Look for a rusted metal front — with a near-imperceptible 'Spuntino' scrawled onto it — just opposite Rupert Street bar. No phone here. Norman operates four London Polpo outlets (Soho, Covent Garden, Smithfield and Chelsea) and Polpetto (originally above Soho's French House, now in Berwick St). Spuntino closed in July 2019. As of June 2020 it awaits a new location.