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Italian. 31/ 32 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London
WC2E. Tel: +44 020 7836 7486. Open: Mon-Sat 7:30am-11:00pm
Sun 11:30am-5:30pm

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      18.05.2001 04:25
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      So, imagine, you've got your cheap theatre tickets from the booth for Saturday night, and you have to find something to eat before the theatre - just like everyone else. We tried to get into the Pizza Express - a 20 minute wait for a smoking table. Thanks but no thanks. Your wife is saying well why did you not book something? and there it is, just round the corner - Pasta Brown. Uhhhh?????? Well it looks like all the other Pizza and pasta places, and its got a crowd in it, and yes there are quite a few empty tables. So in we go. Its a new place, and the only thing that distinguishes it from all the other similar bar/coffee houses/pizzerias is that it has a sort of English name. There's a flower on the table, and the clientelle look fairly smart. So its probably ok. The menu is pretty average, with some slightly unusual combinations of pizza and pasta. However, the problem is getting someone to serve you. Yes, they will take your drink order. The house wine is about £11 and it's not that great. Most people are drinking Italian Beer and Water. We leave them to it. Eventually, after several people who came after us are dealt with, our waitress comes. Now, when I travel, I now that wherever I go in the world, the staff in restaurants will speak restaurant English. Enough to get by. But not here. We have a great deal of difficutly in making ourselves understood, involving pointing and close inspection of the menu. The menu is quite good, but not cheap: its well above the price of the Pizza Express we abandoned. And then we wait. Eventually the meal comes, nothing complex: a pizza and a pasta dish. Its actually pretty good. The portions are not huge - low middling. Coffee is also pretty good. In fact we could have forgiven most of this, because we know how difficult it can be for a new place to get experienced staff in central London (They are all on the tube begging). The sting is that for the simplest of pizza/pasta meals includin g wine and coffee, it has come to almost £50. Well, at least it keeps the poor out of the restaurant. I think I'll wait the 20 mins next time.

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