We could smell Flour & Grape before we could see it – which when it comes to a pasta restaurant, can only be a good thing. How anyone that lives around here manages to get anything done with that glorious waft of garlic is beyond us. We’d spend the whole time counting down the hours until opening.
As you may be able to tell, we LOVE pasta and know we’re not alone. You only have to mention the word Padella in conversation to witness people visibly drooling. However, we also all know that unless you wanna turn up at 4.30pm on the dot, you’re just not going to get a table and it’s way too cold to queue at this time of year.
So good news, just a hop, skip and a jump (or a 15 min walk according to google maps) and you’ll find Bermondsey’s new Flour & Grape round the corner. As the name suggests they are big on pasta AND wine. Two of our all-time favourite things.
When we arrived on the cold, wet night we visited it was heaving with a happy buzzy crowd. Surely thanks in part to the affordable all-Italian wine list.
We started with a glass of the Franciacorta Cuvee Royale – ‘the champagne of Italy’ we were advised, and it did indeed have a pleasing biscuity taste. We were starving so wolfed down the doorstop wedges of focaccia and double dipped into the peppery olive oil and balsamic. Starters are a bit of a meat feast – we couldn’t resist ordering the pork tenderloin covered in tonnato (a cold, mayonnaise-like white sauce) AND the charcuterie – lovely thin slices of prosciutto crudo, truffle mortadella (our fave!) and salami.
Of course the bulk of the menu is dedicated to fresh pasta. They recommend getting 2-3 plates between two if you’re hungry and anywhere that recommends more plates than people is onto a winner in our books. Our absolute favourite pasta of all time, Cacio e Pepe lived up to expectations, whilst the sausage ragu fennel was absolutely great – seasoned to perfection. Every pasta dish has a recommended wine and we particularly enjoyed the Timorasso (rich, buttery, like a really good chardonnay).
Do make room for dessert – as well as wine and pasta, gelato is also ‘their thing’ – the Tiramisu gelato should not be missed.
Flour & Grape is a really reasonably priced little spot, with a great atmosphere. We’ll be heading here with the gang when payday still feels far far away.