In the middle of the hustle and bustle of Soho in London there is a new basement bar on Old Compton Street called The Shed.
It is an extension to the Italian restaurant and bar Rustiko, which opened last year, The Shed offers a cool haven to relax and play whilst keeping to Soho’s Italian heritage.
Fast establishing itself as an institution in Soho, I went for dinner at the Italian soul bar and restaurant RustiKo with a friend last week. The food is old school Italian cooking, the restaurant is intimate and the décor makes you feel partly as though you are holidaying in Italy and partly as though you are being welcomed by open arms into a well-loved family restaurant.
The music is great, it features a funky blues playlist, the cocktail menu offers all the favourites, the wine list has been tasted and chosen with care and the food menu features lots of sharing plates and delicious classic Italian dishes. It really does scream soul food, the type of food ‘Mama used to make’.
We were talked through the menu, Paul was a dream and oozed with passion for the restaurant, he was so welcoming I almost felt as though I was sitting at his kitchen table. He recommended dishes to share (me being veggie, my friend not); calamari, parmigiana aubergine and baked goat cheese. All three were delicious and didn’t last long at all. Followed with the mediterranea pizza (me) and rib-eye (him) – again, all lovingly presented, well cooked and full of flavour. We shared a crispy cannoli and tiramisu for dessert, accompanied by cocktails and wine.
We then went down to The Shed in the basement – a cosy, comfy area with plenty of room to relax, chat, drink and listen to music. It’s the kind of place you would have trouble leaving at the end of an evening because you’re made to feel so at home.
I’ll definitely be back, Rustiko is less pretentious than other places in Soho, there are no membership fees, it’s independently owned, and you know you’ll eat great, fresh food.
I’ll be in The Shed if you need me!