La Polenteria is London’s first 100% gluten free Italian restaurant, making it the perfect destination for those with coeliac disease, allergies and intolerances or simply those avoiding the protein, as well as offering vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. As the name suggests, most dishes are based around the Italian staple, polenta (cornmeal) but there’s also homemade gluten free pasta and ravioli on offer.
The restaurant is centrally located in London’s Old Compton Street and is run by four Italians, who possess their country’s renowned charm. It offers informal dining in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. The decor is minimal with wooden surfaces, a copper bar and themed text decorating the walls.
My guest and I popped in for a late lunch, simply ordering one dish each. The menu changes regularly in line with the seasons but on this occasion, I opted for a cheesy polenta which was creamy and comforting, whilst my guest chose polenta topped with a hearty beef ragu. Our hunger was quickly sated and whilst we didn’t have room for dessert, the selection of indulgent and guilt-free sweet dishes (think tiramisu, cheesecake, chocolate avocado mousse, etc..) on the menu will ensure our return. The menu is reasonably priced, with small main dishes starting at £6.
La Polenteria is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. We were impressed at the entrepreneurial attitude of the founders, who are working hard to bring something different yet inspiring to London. The focus is on simple food, done well and that’s something which will guarantee our return.