Italian in Bermondsey
Antico, a neighbourhood restaurant on Bermondsey Street serves classic Italian food in a causal setting with a gin bar down stairs called 214 Bermondsey. It sounded like a winning combination on paper with the rising pre-dinner cocktail trends in London, with Italian classics such as Martini and Negroni proven to be popular among the young professionals. I visited Antico on a Friday evening for a Birthday gathering and hoped for a full Italian dining experience.
214 Bermondsey turned out to be one of the hippiest places in Bermondsey, a great selection of gin from rare Jenever to hand crafted London dry. the cocktail menu featured a strong list of gin based cocktails as well as twists on some classic recipes. Bartenders here are well skilled with a great hospitality manner, my gin based sour was light but yet had a characteristic of traditional sour with a lovely spicy aroma.
On to the food at Antico, I really enjoyed my starter of Devon crab and fennel salad with aiolo. The crab itself was fresh and sweet, the lovely seasoning of the fennel was powerful but not challenging, together with the toasted bruschetta and we have the finest crab salad sandwich in town! The main of pan roasted cod was decent at best on the other hand, the braised leeks was inconsistent with one tasting much more chewy than the other one, the lemon butter however worked really well with the cod with its mild creamy texture.
While the food at Antico isn't anything to shout about, there is plenty to love about this place. The laid back causal setting was a real plus and 214 Bermondsey was one of the finest gin bars I've visited in London. With its reasonable price tag, it is no wonder why this restaurant is one of the most popular venues on Bermondsey Street along with the likes of Pizarro and Zucca.
£24 per head with a soft drink
£15 for 2 cocktails at 214 Bermondsey cocktail bar
214 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ