If those healthy new year’s resolutions are slipping, here’s a delicious new way to get them back on track. The recently launched La Polenteria in Soho’s Old Compton Street is all about naturally gluten free polenta.
It’s rejuvenating the Northern Italy store-cupboard staple, giving it a cosmopolitan and modern feel presented in a contemporary style. Polenta, or cornmeal, also popular in Eastern Europe, North America, Africa, Mexico and Brazil, is served as a substitute for bread, pasta, rice or potatoes. It draws its flavour primarily from the foods served with it, and can be used for everything from starters to desserts.
The venue invokes the laid-back atmosphere of a ‘polenta party’ – when families gather around the table to share a freshly made, soft polenta. Diners sit at plain wooden tables, sage-green walls backdrop blackboards showing the polenta making process and shelves display ‘paioli’, the copper pots traditionally used to make polenta.
Breakfast features Polenta muffins, Creamy polenta with blueberry and maple syrup, or Raspberry and mascarpone polenta cupcakes with organic Chiaroscuro coffee from Mokaflor. The lunch and dinner menu, highlighting vegan, vegetarian, fish and meat choices, is printed on environmentally-friendly corn-paper. Dishes include Polenta with Sicilian caponata, Salt cod with gorgonzola and walnuts, Wild boar with goulash and Tuscan sausages with borlotti beans. All sauces served with the polenta are also gluten-free.
Sweet treats include an indulgent Muffin rocher and a lighter Polenta cake or you could grab a bar of gluten-free Venchi chocolate from Turin to go. Drink Italian wine, gluten free Golden Ale or soft drinks including rose lemonade and chinotto.