Spuntino makes your dining dreams a reality, writes Sammy Milton
Another new year is upon us, and with it comes new year’s resolutions. Some may be giving up drinking, some may be taking up more exercise and some may be looking to tighten their belts and eat a little healthier. Not me, however. When Spuntino offered us the chance to come in to try some of their American/Italian food, we jumped at the chance. Well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?
Located at the ever popular Cargo in Wapping Wharf, we arrived with Storm Eleanor pushing us through the doors into the subtly lit, diner-style restaurant. Seated quickly with a warm welcome, we took in the trendy, fun space, with some small booths occupying the back of the room and tables dotted around elsewhere.
The menu is separated into different sections, encompassing snacks, sandwiches, smaller plates, salads and sides, and desserts. Although the burgers looked like a tempting offering, we went on the recommendation of our friendly waitress, and opted for a selection of the snacks and small plates.
Alongside the popcorn with the hot chilli powder designed to start you off, stuffed fried olives (£3.40) and cauliflower and blue cheese crochettes (£4.00) arrived first. I’m not usually a huge fan of olives, but stuffed and deep fried seems to be the way to have them – piping hot, the little salty spheres were delightful and the perfect way to kick-off the meal. The crochettes were sublime – delicate parcels full of gooey blue cheese bechamel that melted in the mouth, with the subtle flavour of cauliflower coming through nicely.
The small plates arrived in quick succession and soon we were faced with a steaming skillet consisting of a Bismark pancake with fried chicken and maple syrup (£9.00). A new one for me, it really was something special. The pancake was crisp round the edges and sticky with maple syrup in the middle, creating the perfect nest for the glorious pieces of fried chicken. The chicken alone was fantastic, and the dish as a whole was the perfect combination of sweet and savoury.
Next up was possibly Spuntino’s most talked-about dish – the truffled egg toast (£6.80). Having had no idea what to expect, I now fully understand the appeal – an actual mountain of bread drenched in rich, gooey cheese was topped with an egg yolk and doused in decadent truffle oil. Not for the faint-hearted, it was one of the best things I’ve eaten to date, the sort of thing you’d crave after a particularly late night of drinking.
We finished up with a steak tartare (£9.20). Arranged beautifully with rare pieces of steak flecked with diced tomatoes and onions (and adorned with yet another glistening egg yolk, not that we’d ever complain) it was a wonderful palate cleanser after the richer plates and was full of wonderful flavour.
You may have to get someone to explain the desserts to you as they don’t sound like anything you’ve ever heard before. That said, it didn’t stop us going for a ‘Dutch baby’ (£6.50) – thick and creamy Nutella ice cream sandwiched between two caramelised wafers, the stuff of your childhood dreams. Stuffed as we might have been, we made short work of it.
Although I never fully got the Italian influence from Spuntino (apart from, of course, its name), the American side shone through quite boldly. These are dishes you’ve only ever seen in films, and happily, Spuntino are here to make them accessible for the good people of Bristol to eat, time and time again.
Unit 12, Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6ZA
0117 376 3698