While both trying to climb the ladder in the kitchen at Wild Honey, proprietors Andrea and Peter found that they were perfectly suited not simply because they were both skilled cooks (and mad enough to work in a Michelin-starred kitchen). Their consummate compatibility extended to a shared dream – to open up a trattoria-style eatery, like the ones they both remembered from growing up in northern Italy, in the heart of London. Mele e Pere is the blossoming of that dream, and here it is in full flower, flying the flag for rustic northern Italian cuisine in the heart of Soho. Book for drinks and sharing plates or more substantial eats, and find Mele e Pere’s tricolored neon sign on the corner of Brewer Street and Great Pulteney.
Perhaps the simplest (and maybe even the most representative) way to get a feel for what Andrea and Peter intended for Mele e Pere is to drop by in the evening for a snifter of vermouth and a share plate (it’s okay to have one to yourself if you’re solo in Soho). What’s standout about Mele e Pere’s signature aperitif is that this vermouth is homemade, on site and in weekly batches, using botanicals like gentian, hyssop, lemongrass and angelica. Find some elbow space at what might be London’s most specialist vermouth bar and try the citrus-dry white or the bittersweet red vermouth, or sample from rare brands alongside a platter of two: spicy Ascolana olives, Tuscan salami with fried gnocchi, salt cod mantecato with squid ink mayo and many other neatly plated delicacies.
Mele e Pere’s Soho location down Brewer Street demands that they cater to this corner of London’s eccentric eating habits. This is why they offer great value lunch specials, party menus for the large gaggles that descend upon this part of town come evening, a crucial pre-theatre menu for West End London theatregoers, all alongside this Italian restaurant’s carefully curated a la carte menu, packed with dishes focusing on northern Italian regional cuisines. Mountainous appetites will be in thrall to the tagliatelle with beef ragu, the potato gnocchi with Umbrian black truffle, or the homemade fennel and pork sausage served with grilled courgette and salsa verde. In a concession to more sunkissed Italian staples, Mele e Pere’s Mediterranean stew takes in prawns, mussels, pollock and samphire, with more seafood brought to table in the form of Cornish cod treated to burnt butter and caramelised endive. Mele e Pere finish with a flourish, offering delectable desserts, ice creams, sorbets, and cheeses that go far beyond run-of-the-mill tiramisu: the rum baba with Amalfi lemon sorbet and platter of artisanal Italian cheeses are our picks.
Quite excellent. Easy to find and very friendly, professional reception. Very relaxed pleasant ambiance in lower floor with fast professional happy lunchtime service, absolutely delicious and great value 'dish of the day' AND a choice of these! Must highly recommend Chef. Interesting photos and comfort enhancing decor. Always attentive but not 'in your face' waitress. I'm told that evenings are great fun also (this is a 'vermouth' bar) which I look forward to trying asap!
This is a truly lovely restaurant. It is very conveniently located minutes from Piccadilly Circus, the menu is a proper Italian menu with excellent variety and choice and decent sized portions and above all, the staff are delightful....well trained, friendly, and really helpful. Oh did I also mention that theprix fixe menu is excellent value - almost unbelievable in the West End at £20 for three courses AND a glass of bubbly!
Food at Mele e Pere was average except the tiramisu was fabulous. Oddly, the pasta was not cooked el dente but almost soggy. Difficult to get the service crew's attention.