Another place I was itching to visit was Polpo, and coincidentally was recommended The Ape & Bird as a nice pub with good beer (although this was before Polpo took over). The interior is very, very nice and as I didn’t take a picture I’ve nabbed one off Google Images.
We sat down at a table (uncomfortable stools) and I got a half of Beavertown Gamma Ray (£3.50), one of the nicest but expensive beers around. The drinks selection in general is very good, with wine being more their specialty, I think. To start we got the Cichèti plate (£8): one of each cichèti. The smoked salmon, horseradish & dill crostini was very tasty. I didn’t try the others but they were crab arancini, potato & parmesan crocchete, “Do mori” (a skewer of cheese, picked onion and olive) and fried stuffed olives. Good finger food in general but small portions for the price – this is London after all.
For mains: I got the octopus with beans (£8) which surprised me. I had cooked octopus a few weeks before and hadn’t realised it was supposed to taste like this: tender and flavourful, not rubbery. Oops. He got Piadana meatball smash (£9) with the lamb and green peppercorn meatball. It came in some kind of flatbread with salad etc. On the side we also got zucchini, parmesan & basil (£5) which was a good flavour combination. Apologies for the poor quality photo.
The octopus was the highlight for me: I would definitely get it again. The service was friendly and on the way to the bathrooms I discovered a dive bar downstairs and multiple more places to sit and have a drink, all with the great atmosphere of the front room. The bill came to £44.44 and we didn’t die – a good sign.