Let's do Lunch: Stuzzico

Making a blind decision on a restaurant is always a worry. Why, then, choose a relatively unknown Italian in the backstreets of Paddington?

Rather bravely (or perhaps stupidly) I chose on the basis of a recommendation in GQ. The choice of Stuzzico was certainly interesting, given its origins as a simple local community cafe for ladies that do breakfast.

But Stuzzico makes for an interesting lunch venue. Its tightly packed simple tables speak to its cafe origins, but, when full, provide for a noisy and convivial atmosphere. Patrons are an interesting mix of the 'ladies that do' and families, business grazers and walk-by custom. The open-plan kitchen provides a window into the cooking style of the owner and adds to the intimacy of the experience.

This informality extends to the menu, which delivers some interesting slants on classic Italian cooking. The salmon fillet on a rice and spinach cake served with saffron sauce is perfect for a quick bite without ruining your afternoon's productivity. The lunch menu offers reasonable choice, combining home-made pasta options with more robust chicken and beef dishes.

With a four to six-week rotating lunch menu, nouveau it is not, but neither is it conventional.

Where: 24 Kendal Street, London W2 2AW

Contact: 020 7262 9122

How much: £20 for set lunch with wine

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