Mele e Pere | Soho

Armed with some Christmas money that had been burning a hole in our pockets for over two weeks, Shay and I ventured to Soho on Saturday night for an indulgent meal out. Because if you can't spend Christmas money on good food, what can you do?

Earlier in the week we had planned to head to a tapas bar, but upon arrival decided to go elsewhere - we were bordering on hangry, and fancied main meals as opposed to sharing small plates. So after a quick stroll around Soho to find another eatery and suitable cuisine, we ended up on the doorstep of Mele e Pere, an Italian trattoria and vermouth bar on Beak St.

Due to working in Soho, Mele e Pere has been on my list of places to try for a good while now, and I'm so glad I finally got the chance - because not having a reservation and looking for a table for two in Soho on a Saturday night is risky business. Nonetheless, we were greeted with open arms by the front of house staff and shown to a table downstairs in the hustle and bustle of the restaurant.

It was barely two seconds before our coats were off that a waiter was over to see if we would like some water for the table, which I liked because it gets it out of the way so you can sit down straight away and worry about the more important stuff, like the food... and the WINE. Oh the wine. Mele e Pere has a good-sized list of unique and interesting wines. Red is the name of the game when it comes to myself and the boy so we settled for a bottle of Pinot Nero after being offered answers to any questions we may have by the wonderful waiting staff - a running theme throughout the night you'll be glad to hear. Upon tasting, the wine was deliciously spicy and still fairly light at the same time but most importantly, at the perfect temperature.

We ordered our starters - we decided to go for three small sharing plates of bread & focaccia with oil, spicy Ascolana olives and deep fried squid with smoked aioli. All three dishes were as delicious as you'd expect, but the star of the show for the both of us was the slices of focaccia - still slightly warm, completely light and fluffy with sun dried tomatoes and olives on the crust. That's not to say that the olives and squid weren't a delight though because, they really really were.

We gobbled up the starters probably quicker than we should have done because of our state of hunger, but had a nice break before our mains arrived. Which is probably something quite hard to get right because it's completely subjective, but I don't like to be rushed at all from one course to the next, like they're willing you out of the restaurant. No, we had a good chance to let our starters go down and sip on some of the lovely wine.

For mains I went with the potato gnocchi with umbrian black truffle and Shay went for the black ink fregola with squid, prawns clams and mussels. Which I definitely would have gone for had I not been lured in by the black truffle. Both dishes were delicious and enjoyed equally with fab portion sizes. We opted to share a mixed leaf & tomato salad as a side, which I ended up eating to balance the creaminess of my dish.

And after finishing our mains, and being thoroughly stuffed... especially me with ALL the carbs, we ordered dessert. Which we had actually both picked out before ordering our starters... :) And we both ended up going for the same dessert, the baked mascarpone cheesecake with wild berried and white chocolate foam - which we were assured upon its arrival to the table in fact wasn't washing up bubbles - although it did resemble fairy suds ever so slightly. Either way, the dessert was absolutely divine, and I could definitely eat baked mascarpone again, and again... and again.

The restaurant itself had a lovely relaxed vibe with a range of different diners, from families with teens to groups of twenty-something friends to old and young couples, all enjoying themselves. As mentioned, the staff were attentive, friendly and relaxed, offering help on choices for wine and food. In fact the waiting staff at Mele e Pere are probably the best I've encountered in a while.

Overall, as I'm sure you can tell, we really enjoyed our evening at Mele e Pere and I wouldn't hesitate to return, perhaps for some nibbles, lunch or even just drinks. If you're looking for somewhere on a whim like we were, I'd recommend a visit.

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