Thursday 28 November 2013

Al-Desko Dining: Spianata & Co

Of late, my al-desko dining posts have been a bit anti-sandwich. Now, I have nothing against the humble sandwich – far from it, in fact. And I recognise that my latest suggestions have been unhelpful from the point of view that the basis of this al-desko series is supposed to be lunches you have at your desk – I mean, you ever tried eating a bowl of pasta whilst trying to draft a complex memo at the same time? I have, and it only ends with one thing: Pasta. Sauce. Everywhere.

So today I'm taking you to Spianata & Co.

Spianata bills itself as a Roman sandwich shop. Trust me: you're left under no illusions that this is exactly what it is when you get there. From the Italian staff, Italian foods and general Italian feel – a row of men, in suits, wolfing down focaccia sandwiches and espressos along a bar in the window – this is like a little Napolitano deli in the heart of the City of London.

The sandwiches are excellent, which is probably something to do with the fact that they make all of their bread on site, fresh, every day. That they keep the bread-making production centre in a great big glass room, rather than stowed away out of site, is probably the best sign you're going to get that they take real pride in their baked goods.

The fillings are legion – all of them reeking with a kind of Italian authenticity; you won't find a cheese and pickle bap in here (although you will find cheese and ham, albeit in the more refined form of mozzarella and prosciutto di speck). There's pear, prosciutto cotto & gorgonzola, talegio, parma ham & walnut, coppa, provolone & radicchio, pollo & funghi, bresaola, rucola & parmesan, to name but a few.

But there's a lot more to get besides sandwiches. There's slices of cake and brownie. There are a range of fantastic pizza slices, just in case you needed that extra carb hit. There are all the run of the mill Italian soft drinks from San Pellegrino and the less usual ones, like Cedrata Tassoni and Gazzosa. And there is, of course, mind-blowing espresso.
Sit in, if you can – it's almost half of the experience. But if you can't, here's a lunch to have at your desk whilst you work – one hand with the red pen, another with the focaccia. Just don’t blame me if you can’t focus on the task you get paid for.
Forget that panini rubbish that Starbucks flog.  This is the real deal.
- GrubsterBoy -

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