We Hope Fat Tony's Pasta Pop-Up Sticks Around
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Update: May, 2018. As we'd hoped it would, the Fat Tony's pop-up has gone permanent now.
Fat Tony's is a meeting of two minds, and two passions — with pasta chef James French setting up shop, temporarily, in Tony Conigliaro's Bar Termini Centrale.
We were already devotees of the Bar Termini side of the equation: their tiny Soho bar channels all the romance of an old world train station, with the added allure of bottle-aged negronis thrown in. Sink a couple of small, perfect glasses of Negroni Superiore or Robusto and everything starts to take on a dreamy, Fellini-ish filter.
But if we could've changed one thing about Bar Termini, it'd be: more carbs. True, you're covered for snacks — a breakfast grapefruit scattered with Campari salt; a teatime mini panino; some pre-dinner slices of coppa. Shouldn't somewhere with cocktails this dangerously compelling also have some equally moreish carbs to soak them up with?
And that's where Bar Termini the Second strolls in. Just off Oxford Street and a bit larger, the most important difference right now is Fat Tony's, a pasta residency serving up a short menu of bucatini and paccheri, of burrata-topped breads and cream-topped torta. All the carbs you need to support you on a jaunt through the negroni menu.
Best dishes of the evening are hands-down the beef shin pappardelle — springy pasta and a rich, near-gamey meatiness — and some unexpectedly dazzling desserts. The chocolate torta's as indulgent as it sounds, textures piled together in a hat-trick of chocolate richness, pistachio crunch and the airiness of the whipped cream. The grilled peaches come with flecks of amaretto and creme fraiche, all summery, warm sweetness. Forays into the starter section are nice (oil-drizzled burrata, gently-grilled slices of octopus with 'nduja) — but if we were back at Fat Tony's a second time it'd be for the unexplored sections of the pasta menu and a repeat visit to the torta.
We don't know what the future holds for Fat Tony's pop-up. But their pappardelle and peaches are such a perfect marriage for Bar Termini's drinks list, we hope they stay popped-up for a long time.
Fat Tony's at Bar Termini Centrale, 31 Duke Street, W1U 1LG.
Last Updated 18 April 2019