Apéritif. Translation? ‘To open’. Deriving from the Latin word aperire, most of us may be more familiar with the word aperitivo. Yes, a quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about the history of an aperitivo.
Now, I’ve never needed coaxing into building up an appetite, per se, because, unfortunately, it appears to be ever-present. Relentless, you may say. So, the concept of an aperitif is largely wasted on me, in its true, original and literal form, of drinks designed to stimulate your appetite before a meal.
Enter Novikov. Novikov’s Lounge Bar plays host to their latest drinks menu, the new Aperitivo Drinks Menu.
In a throwback to deep Italian culture, ‘London’s most fashionable watering hole’ is now offering a selection of aperitivo drinks on a menu which includes Negroni, White Peach Bellini, Aperol Spritz Prosecco, a range of wines and a couple of top-notch Italian beers.
All drinks on the snazzy menu – designed for after-work socialising for the city’s finest – are accompanied by complementary ‘cicchetti’, a small range of marvellous snacks, it has to be said, which ensure you more-than get your money’s worth. The fried risotto balls stood out from the crowd, but all of the snacks were rather tasty. The bruschetta wasn’t ‘alf bad, too.
The menu originated in Milan, and it certainly had that customary Italian delicacy to it – wonderful crisp, light food to complement a range of classic, yet exquisite, drinks.
The Aperol Spritz was my pick of the bunch. The drink is based on the now Compari-produced aperol, which is then combined with a fantastic-tasting Prosecco. The White Peach Bellini was also divine.
The Lounge itself is an acquired taste, to be honest. Swanky? Yes. Clean and stylish? Yes. But in the Lounge’s bid to produce a calm and mellow atmosphere, it ends up feeling a little bit like a dingy bordello. Yes, the lighting must be dimmed, but you literally couldn’t see a thing. To read the menu, small table lights were needed to be pointed directly at the menu to see what you were ordering. I just think if you’re going to the trouble of making a ‘lounge’ relaxing, you should eradicate the small things that could prove a nuisance.
As for the low sofas, well, Novikov claims to be ‘raising the bar’ with its Aperitvo Menu, and, in truth, it probably does. But maybe they could do with taking this concept over to the sofas, too.
The Aperitvo Menu is available from 17:30pm – 19:30pm from Monday through to Friday.
Novikov Restaurant & Bar, 50 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8HA