Jan 25 2015

La Polenteria


La Polenteria is an Italian restaurant located in Soho that serves a range of polenta based dishes and desserts. Polenta is mainly eaten in the North of Italy and essentially is cornmeal boiled into a porridge, which can be eaten directly or then baked, fried or grilled, changing the texture. The name polenta originates from ‘pul’ or ‘pulmentum’, an ancient Roman dish usually served with a primitive form of wheat flour. Initially when I thought of going to a restaurant that just serves polenta, I was very sceptical, as I thought there are only a few combinations and things you can do with polenta and to make this a base for a restaurant was unusual. However I was proved completely wrong, and the wide variety of dishes this restaurant offered really impressed me.

Polenta is gluten free (GMO free, high in fibre and protein and rich in vitamins A and C) which suits my boyfriend who has given up gluten, hence he was so keen to come here. We went to La Polenteria on a Sunday for lunch and the restaurant initially was not very busy, but it filled up. I had tried to come here another day, on a Friday at 7pm, and then it was completely full and I was told I had to wait 40min to get a table. The restaurant has a minimalistic décor with wooden chairs and tables, and feels like a very good canteen during the day, but at night due to the lighting this can be a very romantic place for a meal.

The length of the menu surprised me, as they really showed you how many different things they could do with polenta. The menu featured small polenta snacks, starters, salads, sandwiches and mains and all the dishes were divided into vegan, vegetarian, meat and fish sections, so you could easily chose what you wanted to eat if you were vegetarian or vegan. We ordered 2 starters a mixed salad with lettuce, vegetables, olives and grilled polenta bites and a charcuterie board of Italian cured meats, which included Finocchiona salami, bresaola, speck and mortadella served with pear and strawberry jam, also served with grilled polenta bites. The salad was quite pleasant, topped with thick balsamic vinegar and balanced out the heavier meal that was about to come. The Charcuterie board was unusual, as it did not have the traditional Italian cured meats you would expect to find. It was actually a huge plate and we could not finish the whole of it.

For the main course we chose the lasagne and the wild boar stewed in red wine with rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. I loved both dishes. I love lasagne but I can’t cook it at home anymore with normal pasta, as my boyfriend is all gluten free these days, and I have not yet tasted a nice gluten free pasta lasagne, that is before I came to La Polenteria. It was superb here, it tasted just like a normal pasta lasagne and I could happily give up pasta and eat this gluten free lasagne every day. If you are gluten free and miss pasta, you have to come here for this lasagne. It was creamy and bubbling in the dish, so soft and tasty, full of flavour. The wild boar stew was equally delicious. The polenta here was creamy and porridge like in its consistency and the wild boar was perfect with it, the stew had lots of flavour and polenta was cooked brilliantly, it was just a delicious dish.

I loved La Polenteria and it totally beat my expectations. Must visit for all the gluten free people. I also very much liked how they brought us a bill that only included the price of the food (no 10/12/12.5% service charges that almost all restaurants add these days). That got me so excited I actually left them a 12% tip.

Date: 25/ 01/ 15
Price for 2 people, no alcohol: £41 (and this did not include service charge, we left £5)
Location: Soho

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La Polenteria
64 Old Compton Street W1D 4UQ
United Kingdom
La Polenteria Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5