Ca'puccino Review: A Literary Lunch

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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                    A STORY FROM THE ARCHIVES in EAT: 

Eating and reading are two among our greatest pleasures, so to come across an establishment like Ca’puccino, where food and books abound, is rapturous. In the sunlight, the glass exterior catches an almost prismatic glow; as if to herald the wonder that awaits inside. Esmé stepped in a few days ago and brings the tale of the rapture within.
Ca'puccino, 106 Tottenham Ct Rd, W1T 4TT  
Nearest Station: Warren Street OR Goodge St /  Parking: Holborn NCP
Food: 4/5  Service: 3.7/5  Atmosphere: 4/5  Cost: ££ - Excellent value

Eat inside or al fresco.

A selection of the titles shelved in-house.

Esmé's choice read: I Peccati di Peyton Place, Grace Metalious.

There was the option to have something I could takeaway from the deli counter, but with a brief glance at the titles on the shelves, I instantly felt lifted from the mid-revision rut I was in. I knew I wanted to sit, eat, and read…for a while. A waiter showed me to a table right next to one of the bookshelves. My eyes fell upon ‘I Peccati di Peyton Place’ by Grace Metalious - which I happened to have read in English. It is a book about the scandalous lives of people in a seemingly proper town. Titillating stuff. So much so that it was banned soon after its publication in 1954, for 14 years. The book preoccupied me anew, this time with my attention focused on how faithful the Italian translation is to the original. (I’m a linguist, this kind of thing is how I get my kicks.) As I turned the pages my waiter blithely reminded me that food is as important as literature, I chuckled and diverted to the menu which was equally as Italian if you hadn’t already figured. 

I ordered a large bruschetta to start, gnocchi al pesto to follow, and for a cognitive health boost I sipped on the ‘blueberry patch’ smoothie.

Blueberry patch smoothie.

The blueberry patch was a cool, thirst-quenching smoothie of banana, blueberry, and mint. At Ca’puccino no sugar or honey is added to the smoothies or fresh juices, so if you typically like yours to taste sweet either stay away or ask for a few sachets. I liked the natural taste especially as the fresh sprigs of mint perked me up. If you do like sweet drinks, try the house lemonade which I tried another time as you’ll see later on in the post.

Large bruschetta.

The large bruschetta came served on a black, slate platter immediately evoking rustic Italy. The dish’s vivid colour and flavoursome aroma made me eager to tuck in; it was made with toasted, puffy focaccia in the style of Ligurians from north-western Italy. Sat atop the crust was a warm and creamy goats cheese with juicy marinated roasted peppers, piquant rocket leaves, and a balsamic glaze - its tang subdued just the right amount. The bruschetta was divine and indeed large so I had to leave it unfinished to ensure I could enjoy my main dish. If you’re with company be sure to share this starter between two of you or possibly three.

Gnocchi al pesto.

Now, the gnocchi al pesto. Oh Gesù mio! Traditional potato gnocchi suffused with pesto genovese then garnished with parmesan and fresh basil. A hearty dish that makes me salivate upon mere memory. Unassumingly prepared, the gnocchi at Ca’puccino can do no wrong. It was rich in flavour, soft to the touch, and melted in the mouth like velvet. Importantly, it was filling. If I were wearing trousers I may have needed to undo my button, thankfully I was wearing a dress and didn’t have to do away with social graces.

That was all that time as I was stuffed. But Ca’puccino keeps me coming back for more and bringing you the gist...

Due piatti di fettuccine alla carbonara, limonata, e prosecco.

The next time I came to Ca'puccino, my friend and I took lunch together before heading off to a long afternoon of personal studying and working on our laptops. I went for the fettuccine alla carbonara and my friend followed suit just as she did when we went to Dishoom. (If you’re reading this feel the burn and step your order game up, buddy!) Back to the fettuccine! With guanciale ham, cream, egg, and fresh herbs it was succulent. I complemented its savoury taste with a sweet lemonade whilst she did so with a glass of prosecco. We both enjoyed our meals and recommend Ca’puccino on Tottenham Court Road for intriguing books and a spot of authentic Italian lunch.

Have any questions about Ca’puccino? Know another restaurant or café that bookish types will love? Share in the comments section below!

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