Arancino Siciliano: fried risotto balls with ragu, mozzarella, mushrooms, aubergine or peas Parmigiana di melanzane: deep- fried layered aubergine with tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella Peperoncini pipieni: baby stuffed peppers Baccala fritto: deep-fried salt cod on a bed of leaves, on toast or grilled polenta Polpette di carne: home-made meatballs London Lite Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19 apiccoloplate! Cecconis Venetian roots, where tav- erns serving cicchetti (from the Italian verb to pick) sprang up to feed workers on the canal boats. Come early evening the bar buzzes with people snacking on aubergine parmi- giana, 6; polenta sprinkled with por- cini mushrooms sauted in olive oil and garlic, 6; Umbrian sausages with peppers, 6; and grilled piadina (thin Italian flatbread) with prosciutto San Daniele and stracchino cheese, 7. Cecconis serves draught prosecco, 5.75 -- it has fewer bubbles so you can drink more without feeling bloated. Valentina 75 Upper Richmond Road, SW15 (020 8877 9906, VALENTINAS gorgeous glass-fronted ground floor houses a deli and spuntino bar (spuntino means little snack) serving a delicious array of small plates, such as salsicce agro- dolce (Tuscan sausages in a sweet and sour sauce with red peppers and flat leaf parsley), gamberoni all aglio (sauted king prawns in olive oil and garlic) both 3.75; peperoncini ripieni (baby stuffed peppers filled with tuna and marinated in olive oil) and aran- cino Siciliano (rice balls filled with pesto, peas and mozzarella in a rich tomato sauce) both 3.50. Wash it all down with a cool Peroni, 3.10. Zilli Fish 36-40 Brewer Street, W1 (020 7734 8649, ZILLI FISH recently introduced its own tapas menu offering variations on main menu dishes and featuring a mix of traditional crostini misti (ciabatta toast with mozzarella, peppers, tomatoes and tapenade) a n d m a r i n a t e d a n c h o v i e s , peperoncino e prezzemolo (salads Top table: Stephanie and her friend feast on cicchetti and crostini at Soho eaterie Polpo, housed in an 18th-century building that was once home to Venetian painter Canaletto Litebites Foodanddrinknews Wine&Dine Autumnalredsforlessthanatenner Robert Mondavi Private Selection cabernet sauvignon, Tesco Velvety tannins make it great with roasts and lasagne. Anakena ONA pinot noir 2008, Oddbins Complex aromas of strawberries, cassis and spices. Smooth and rich on the palate. Delicious with tuna steaks, risotto or lamb. Bubbly new look HarVey NiCHolSS Fifth Floor Bar tomorrow unveils its glamorous new look and reincarnation as the Belle epoque Champagne Bar. The gorgeous venue, a collaboration with Champagne Perrier-Jout, is as fashion-fabulous a setting as one could wish for. Well be the ones sipping vintage fizz on the chaise longue, darlings. 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1, 020 7235 5000 Cheese to please iN iTaly, they eat mozzarella fresh on the day its made. its never quite the same when we eat it in the UK after a week in transit. luckily, we can now get something close to perfection (and made in Britain to boot) as ex-Formula one champ Jody Scheckters laverstoke Park Farm buffalo milk mozzarella hits the high street. Find it at Waitrose, 2.49/125g. Musical meals WHile the music press gets excited about gigs at Camdens newly opened Blues Kitchen, well concentrate on the food. So what exactly do you serve with rhythm and blues? authentic soul food is what. on the menu: seafood gumbo (12), Mississippi mud pie (4) and whisky milkshakes (7). 111-113 Camden High Street, NW1, 020 7387 5277 Gift of Grace NeW Soho club and dining venue Grace knows how to win us over -- with free bubbly of course. every Friday and Saturday until the end of November, book a dinner table for four and get a bottle of Mot to enjoy in the Milk Bar downstairs afterwards. The Terrace at Grace, 42-44 Great Windmill Street, W1, 020 7851 0800 hilary armstrong Wellequipped Art pepper grinder FooD, as they say, is art -- and your tableware can be too, with an eye-catching pepper grinder by artist robert Wilhelm. inspired by the designs of native american totem poles, the colourful pepper pots grind coarse, medium or fine -- and theres a salt shaker in the top, too. and with the moving parts all top- notch and non- corroding ceramic, theyll last as long as you do. 59.95, cucina Top chef: Bocca di Lupos Jacob Kenedy Banrock Station shiraz mataro 2008, major supermarkets Delicious red cherry and plum flavours with hints of sage and black pepper. Great with red meats and pasta. Nobilo Regional Collection merlot 2008, Threshers a soft, fruity red with lovely berry flavours and subtle spice. Goes well with meaty fish like tuna and salmon. De Bortoli Selection shiraz 2008, Waitrose a full-bodied red with pepper, spice and plum -- perfect for sipping around the bonfire. Domaine du Saut de lAigue, Coteaux du Languedoc 2006, Nicolas ripe, meaty and powerful, this is an ideal partner to roasted red meats. The Bernard Series Basket Press syrah 2006, Sainsburys Powerful yet elegant, with a perfume of spice and violets and a slightly smoky vanilla oak profile. Perfect with a rib-eye steak. Gascogne Red, Vin de Pays Ctes de Gascogne 2008, M&S Blackberry flavours and a spicy finish. enjoy with grilled lamb chops, pork loin or roast duck. Venetian flavours: Cecconis in Mayfair Guide to the menus FooD&DrinK 5.99 8.49 5.99 9.99 9.99 4.999.99 9.99 of beetroot, lentil & goats cheese) all 3.50. Spinach and ricotta ravioli, 4, and ravioli allastice (lobster ravioli with shellfish bisque, 4.90) are more substantial. stEPhaniE hirsChmillEr index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html