I have said it once and I’ll say it again….the Aperitivo is mid week, after-work, easy eating genius! Last night we enjoyed Banca in Mayfair’s version, in the form of bite size bar top treats.

Aperitivo after-work eating, like a Milano Italiano: Finish work, head to your choice of facilitating bars/ restaurants, order a drink (normally of a certain minimum value) and then you’re eligible to help yourself and tuck into table of sustaining morsels to keep you socialising well in to the evening.

With our busy schedules and diaries packed full of obligations, sometimes fitting in after work engagements of drinks, dinner or entertainment just seems to be more time squeezing and dashing about than us hard-working people normally have the energy for… is where Banca steps up to the mark. This smooth Italian offers a central London space to meet colleagues and friends alike after work at the bar.

The edible offerings for the aperativo at Banca are canapé bite size delights in the form of (e.g.)  Pizzette with Anchovies and Tomato, Seared Octopus with Borlotti Beans & Paprika, Pickled Button Onions in Raspberry Vinegar, Courgette & Carrot Fritte, Focaccia Farcita with Chicory, Anchovies & Garlic, Charcuterie Selection and Panzerotti; beautifully laid out on the bar top – which all works very well for after work socialising and schmoozing, effectively actioned with nibble in one hand while quaffing the best Bellini we have had the luxury to enjoy this year. (When we went to Milan we did experience this custom of aperativo in various restaurants we visited,  spreads included rustic and colourful dishes of pastas and salads).

Banca offers lots of options for diners – There is also an 80 cover sit down restaurant operating in the same space as the bar area, so if Banca’s bites only tickle your tum and you require something more substantial, a table is just behind you. There is also another bar style counter area for less formal dining in front of the luxury cheese and ham deli style cabinet.

Client Entertaining: Perfectly acceptable we think; for drinks and Aperitivo style counter top grazing, smart dinners or the private dining room that views the kitchen. This is a Mayfair style Italian destination option.

(After our bites at Banca we headed to 5 Hertford, for 6 Crack Baby shots (!)  and some dancing in LouLou’s around a giraffe head, all images of the night have been purposefully destroyed, along with my sanity).

Banca / /Opened July 2012, a tasty collaboration between Arjun and Peter Waney (Zuma, Roka and Le Maison) and Guiliano Lotto (Aurelia and Il Baretto). Aperitivo at Banca launched November 2012.

Italian Aperitivo served from 5.30 till 7.30pm Tuesday-Friday

Other appealing aperitivo bars offering a mid-week eat:

Pizza East Portobello

Ciao for now.



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