Four to Eight – Covent Garden

Whenever I book a pre-theatre deal I think I subconsciously lower my expectations. I assume we’ll be rushed through to make way for the proper full paying customers, portions will be small as we’re paying half the price of the normal menu and service will be substandard.

When I pick a restaurant Italian is never my first choice. Don’t get me wrong I love Italian food I just always go for other genres first.

So you’ve guessed it – this blog is about an Italian pre-theatre meal in the heart of Covent Garden. I’m pleased to say that on this occasion all my misconceptions about dining deals were blown out of the acqua.

Four to Eight is located away from the madness of the Piazza – nearer to Aldwych. Tonight I’m out with a couple of the work ladies so we’re here to catch up with some obligatory prosecco. There’s a deal for £23 for 3 courses which includes a glass of the fizzy stuff. Done.

The pre-theatre menu has three options per course with a veggie choice on each. We all tentatively choose the crispy pig’s head. We nervously wonder if a medieval looking dish will appear snout and all. As the picture shows we were somewhat off the mark. Two cubes of crunchy porky loveliness arrive with kohlrabi and piccalilli and some more pork in a hammy form. Just the right size for a starter and not a trotter in sight.

On to the main courses and I keep up with my far from vegetarian choices. My friend did utter the words Old Macdonald as I worked my way through the farmyard line-up. I order calves liver served with baked mash and hispi cabbage. I don’t think I’ve eaten calves livers before, but they’re a world away from bitter rubbery liver from yesteryear. The liver is soft and delicious and the vegetables perfect. And look at the plate – so pretty!

The girls both choose roast gnocchi with porcini, sage and almonds. I have a taste and it’s lovely. They agree.

After a little break we order a dessert. Another first for me I go for a mascarpone affogato. Ice-cream with a tiny jug of hot coffee to pour over. I am converted. Susie G (as we like to call her) enjoyed a pumpkin semi-freddo which looked pretty fine too.

So why the name Four to Eight? The restaurant believes in sticking to just four to eight ingredients. Simple Italian cooking – can’t argue with that. It says on their website everything is cooked from scratch – a nice thing to hear when so many restaurants clearly don’t follow this mantra.

Service is friendly and attentive. The restaurant is simple and stylish.They have over 100 wines on offer and also serve cocktails too.

The restaurant sits on the site of a sandwich shop of 16 years ‘Gino and Franco’. It’s owners Gino and Leo always wanted a restaurant and this is the result.

If you’re in town for the theatre or spot of shopping Four to Eight is fantastico.

Ciao for now

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