Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday Lunch @ Spuntino
Spuntino (Italian for little snack) opened last week on Rupert Street betwixt the sex shops of Soho. Somewhat American in feel, this tiny spot with seating for about 30 is Russell Norman & Richard Beatty's third venture (after Polpo & Polpetto). While evoking lower Manhattan with its discreet entrance and 'no phone, no reservations' policy, the menu has a distinctive Southern (albeit double-wide) vibe.
Outside, the signage is nothing but a small scribble inspired by the scrawl of Russell's young daughter. Inside is demo-chic, with marred subway tile walls, old deco borders, and a rusty tin ceiling. A U-shaped stainless bar fills nearly all of the front room, above which hangs vintage enamel fixtures with old-style filament bulbs. American Country/Blues blares from the sound system.
I visited yesterday for a late lunch, grabbing a rare open spot at the bar. The menu, packed with small plates loaded with flavor & fun, is printed on kraft paper place mats. First up was a Bloody Mary, served in a small juice glass -- bold & well-spiced. Then the Brick Lane salt beef slider, layered on a soft bun with dill pickle and hot Colman's mustard, and a side of the most delicate shoestring fries I've ever had. All food is served on white & blue tin enamelware -- a bit quaint but interesting nonetheless. The staff was relaxed but attentive. The food was perfect and small, delicious and filling.
Though tempted to move on to the mac & cheese and Wild Turkey bourbon brownie, they'll have to wait until next time. But with these reviews, I may need to wait a bit for the next bar stool.