Cantina is the latest venue from the Pearce family, who have previously brought us Espana, Franc’s Wine Bar & Deli and Lupo. Rather than reopen Lupo in its current form post-Covid, the decision was made to carve the space into two smaller restaurants, each with its own identity and culinary personality – Piatto and Cantina. With seating for 30 in total, including 12 at the bar, Cantina is slightly larger than its Italian-inspired sibling Piatto, but only just. There are no bookings, just a bar and a completely open kitchen that provides an interactive element that is instantly disarming. The menu features a scattering of light bites such as vinegar beans and Ritz and manchego cheese and quince alongside more substantial plates including prawn croquettas and a delightfully decadent fried mortadella sando. There’s also a handful of blackboard specials that will change regularly and feature dishes such as spiced pork shoulder. When it comes to the drinkables, Cantina is proof the selection needn’t be overly complex and span multiple pages. On the contrary, Cantina features a concise selection of predominantly Spanish wines alongside three different cocktails – a negroni, martini and margarita. There are no bookings here, so just wander on in.


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