Cantina del Ponte
36c Shad Thames
Tel 020 7403 5403
Date of Last Visit: Thursday, July 10
The Victims: Melia, Kathrin
The Damage: £63 for three
The Background: Life is funny. For 18 months when I frst moved to London, I lived right around the corner from Cantina del Ponte. But I never went. It’s like now…I can think of one restaurant in the particular that is about 50 meters from my current flat, but I’ve yet to visit. (Nor do I really want to, but that’s another story.)
And you forget sometimes what it’s like to see London through the eyes of someone who is still new to the city. And how great that is. And how much walking is involved.
Melia is working from London for the next two months, so Kathrin and I set out to show her a bit of town. We wandered through Smithfield Market, and then over Millennium Bridge and then along the Thames. It was lovely. (But I did feel bad about the walking. I’m just used to it, I guess.)
The Entrance: Once we got over to Tower Bridge, I figured we might have a problem with dinner as we didn’t really have a booking. We tried The Chophouse, but no dice. And I still hold a grudge against Le Pont de la Tour. So I walked into Cantina del Ponte and wasn’t too optimistic that we could snag a table.
But we did! And outside too. And the bridge went up while we were sitting there, and these two naval vessels sailed through. So all in all, a good show!
The Service: Our initial excitement about snagging a table on the river faded quickly. Because they forgot about us. No menus, nothing. All eyes were on the large table of 10 behind us. There was no multi-tasking.
But then someone spotted us staring longingly at the bread, the wine, all the food going by. He was young, enthusiastic, friendly. And we had his attention for the rest of the evening.
The Food: We kept it simple. Very simple. We all ordered the same thing. Parparadelle with lamb ragout. And it was nice. I would make this at home if I could cook. It wasn’t anything exceptionally interesting. But sometimes, you don’t really need that.
The Loos: I think they can do better.
The Verdict: I think this is a decent sort of place, despite the mixed reviews we read online. Good for a business dinner. And our server is a keeper.