Amico Bio

44 Cloth Fair, London, England, EC1A 7JQ, United Kingdom

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This was my second visit to Amico Bio, a vegetarian Italian restaurant tucked away near Smithfield market (there is a sister restaurant in Holborn). It has a casual atmosphere, with a plain wood floor and no tablecloths.

Arancini were better than the version I tried last time, with a crisp outside and a comforting mix of rice, mozzarella and peas inside (12/20). Fried strips of courgette were also pleasant, a simple enough dish but also enjoyable (11/20). Ravioli of tomato, smoked cheese and sundried tomato, garnished with basil had decent pasta but tomatoes that sadly lacked flavour. This was all the more surprisingly since they apparently come from the owner’s family farm in Campagnia in the south of Italy. The tomatoes from this part of the world can be stunning, as I fondly remember from Don Alfonso 1890, but these just seemed watery (11/20).

Roasted red pepper came with white beans, tofu, fennel, courgette and aubergine and supposedly crispy pumpkin, but on this hot night the latter arrived as a soggy mess, the pepper itself slightly undercooked (10/20). A salad of fennel and leaves on the side was fine (12/20).

Rum baba itself was good, quite moist if a little light on the rum, but came with rather disappointing crème patissiere, and the cherries with it were also very ordinary (12/20). The bill came to £49 a head, albeit with the best wine on the list, a good Amarone. A typical bill, if you shared a bottle of modest wine, would come to around £35 a head for three courses and coffee. Although I like the atmosphere of this little restaurant, the inconsistency of the dishes is troubling. 

Further reviews: 11th Nov 2010

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