The Astley Media team were delighted to be invited to POLPO on Monday, Queen St. Dining’s final addition to its restaurant line-up. Here, Account Executive Abi gives the lowdown on the Italian restaurant…

Nestled in the heart of Exeter, you will now find the charming and authentic POLPO. Serving Venetian dishes that ooze flavour, POLPO is the eighth and final restaurant to complete the Queen St. Dining line-up.

Opening its first restaurant on Beak Street in September 2009, POLPO describes itself as “a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young Italian wines.” Serving authentic Venetian food, it’s hard to believe you are not in the beautiful Italian city itself.

Having received the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand for the last six consecutive years, the AM team couldn’t wait to taste their award-winning food.

Stepping into the restaurant, our first impressions were all very positive. The interior was simple yet had a touch of Italian culture with small vases of flowers on the tables, tea lights and a healthy amount of bronzed décor.

Eagerly looking at the menu, I went for the Crab and Chilli linguine plus a couple of smaller plates for the table which included Broad Bean, Pea, Mint and Ricotta Bruschetta and Beetroot Salad with Rocket and Walnut Pesto. To drink, I just stuck with water as I was in the middle of a working day plus I only had eyes for the food!

Our lovely waitress placed my linguine in front of me and my first thought was wow, this looks delicious. It was extremely well presented and you could just tell that it had been carefully made. Every bite just melted in my mouth. The strong flavours of the crab were coming through with a nice touch of chilli. I always worry that dishes with chilli in are going to be too hot and spicy for me but this was perfect. The fresh ingredients were all enveloped in a creamy, tomato sauce and it was honestly the best linguine dish I have ever tasted.

To compliment, the bruschetta was perfect, an excellent light bite for lunch. The broad beans had even been carefully shelled which was a nice touch and the ingredients tasted so fresh. I couldn’t eat too much of the beetroot salad as I was filling up on my linguine but the pesto was full of flavour and was a great addition to the meal.

Of course, there is always room for dessert! Poppy and I went half and half on our desserts as there was just too much to choose from and we couldn’t decide. We ordered a Nutella Pizzetta and Ricotta and Raisin doughnuts. Needless to say, both were incredible. The Nutella Pizzetta was absolutely smothered in the yummy hazelnut spread and was topped with a little icing sugar and crunchy caramelised hazelnuts. The Ricotta and Raisin doughnuts were served lovely and warm, and were covered in cinnamon which complimented the flavours nicely. I nearly had to roll myself back to the office afterwards!

POLPO is definitely worth a visit and we would definitely recommend. Queen St. Dining really has given us a treat here with affordable yet amazing food and a team that are polite and passionate about the dishes they are serving. The restaurant completes the dining destination nicely and we look forward to visiting again.