Capilungo, nestled in the heart of Covent Garden, has recently expanded its offering by opening a new basement bar. This venue addition invites customers to linger in the evenings and enjoy a range of hyper-local delicacies from Lecce, including freshly baked ‘Pizzette Pugliese’ and a selection of intriguing Apulian wines along with classic aperitivo-style cocktails.

Located beneath the bakery on Long Acre, the 26-cover bar and seating area is designed to transport guests to the rustic street cafes of Lecce. The ambiance is enhanced by low lighting and terracotta hues, centered around a dark wood bar stocked with Italian wines, aperitifs, and digestifs. This setting is perfectly suited for guests to explore the newly curated evening menu, inspired by the heritage of Capilungo‘s founders, siblings Gianluca and Asia Capilungo, whose family opened the original Capilungo bakery in Lecce in 1991.

The focus of the evening menu is the aperitivo, particularly the ‘Pizzette Pugliese’. These are crafted in a focaccia style using specialty potato flour, topped in the traditional Salento manner with options such as confit tomatoes, enhancing the pizzette’s crunchy crust and tender base. The provenance and locality are pivotal to Capilungo, with Head Chef Luca sourcing the finest ingredients from artisan producers across Puglia, reflecting throughout the day and evening menus.


Guests can choose from a variety of ‘Pizzette Pugliese’, including the ‘Contadina’ with artichoke hearts, roasted aubergine, and tomatoes, and the ‘Fantastica’, which is topped with creamy Stracciatella cheese, pistachio, and mortadella. The ‘Salento Sizzle’ features subtly smoked burrata and spicy salami over tomato sauce. Other menu items include topped bruschetta, curated meat and cheese boards, and the local favourite ‘Rustico’, a delicate puff pastry enclosing mozzarella and tomato.

The bar also boasts an extensive wine list that includes bottles from independent producers and small farms in Puglia and Salento, focusing on regional and indigenous grape varieties. This selection mirrors the diverse tastes of the co-owners and includes everything from the classic Primitivo di Manduria to more unusual varieties like Ottavianello from Ostuni.

In addition, the aperitivo experience is complemented by a selection of spritz-style drinks and playful twists on classic Italian cocktails, expertly curated by Gianluca Capilungo. Choices range from the delicate ‘Agrodolce’ with Tanqueray Gin, vermouth, Savoia Americano, and balsamic chocolate, to the vibrant ‘Americano My Way’ featuring Savoia Americano, Italicus, and effervescent pink grapefruit soda.

Capilungo, which opened its doors late last year, is the first of its kind in the UK to bring an authentic Italian experience inspired by the picturesque city of Lecce. The family’s passion for quality food and drink makes Capilungo the perfect spot for a bite before the theatre, post-work drinks, intimate dinners, or simply a night away from the city bustle.

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