Eco - Clapham
Eco is a restaurant situated on the bustling and busy Clapham High Street close to Clapham Common Station, London. It is the favourite hangout place for people looking for a quick bite or a delicious brunch.
As you enter you are welcomed by an industrial setting, with exposed brick, low hanging light fittings and an open bustling kitchen where you can see the chefs working. The kitchen also has a wonderful large pizza oven that is the heart of their restaurant. Some tables have a copper look whilst others are made of solid wood. For the warmer months they have tables outside and a wonderful wooden bar around the front window, which they can open. This opens the kitchen to the outside so you feel like its one large space.
The menu offers a wide variety of Italian inspired meals. They have basic classics such as carbonara and spaghetti bolognese and a wide range of pizza choices, yet also offer porcini risotto with truffle oil or grilled vegetable salad.
We have eaten here many times in the last twelve months and often wandered there on a sunny day. It's great sitting outside in the sunshine, eating their antipasto plate full of meats, bread and olives, washed down with a glass of their reasonably priced wine.
On this occasion, we shared the antipasto board which consists of continental meats, baked ham, parmesan shavings, olives and freshly baked crusty sourdough, which is baked on site daily. I followed this up with their artichoke, truffle oil and asparagus spaghetti, while my friend tried the crabmeat linguini which was from their specials board. They were fantastic as always. The pasta cooked to a perfect al dente. Our one year old agreed and ate a good amount of each of our meals. Speaking of our little one, this restaurant is ideal for a family meal out. Great highchairs and a wonderful children's menu if you need it.
Due to them having an open kitchen, they really have nowhere to hide. They can't microwave your meal. All of the products are fresh and the dishes had the warmth of home-made food. Did I mention that they bake their own bread, onsite, daily? It's a delicious sourdough with a wonderfully thick crust. It's the kind of tasty bread that doesn't need butter or any toppings to enjoy it.
The staff are always welcoming and inviting. They are usually quick and attentive. What makes it even more special, is the owner is always around or working and checking the dishes before they leave the kitchen. I love seeing and feeling that family run business vibe. They own the restaurant next door too and often staff pop between the two.
They have a good range of reasonable wines to offer, and that is exactly what they are. There is no pretention or snobbiness. Just good reasonable wine to accompany your delicious fresh food. Speaking of reasonable, the prices of the food is superb. Since living in London, I expect to pay more for food when eating out. Their property costs more and their wages are probably higher so the customer pays for that, right? However, their prices are reasonable and for what you are getting for your money, its fantastic.
If you are in Clapham or having a lovely day on the common in the sunshine, I'd definitely recommend heading down for a luscious bowl of pasta or a lovely fully loaded pizza.