Surprisingly hard to find, given that it is located right in the middle of Shaftesbury Avenue, this is the former home of 1990s celebrity destination Teatro. It's been given a democratic makeover, to become Stanza, a bright bar/restaurant focused on hearty portions and friendly service. The chic-but-bleak modern space has been softened with a carpet, and dark furniture. Though it was empty on our Tuesday lunchtime visit, the long bar must give it a pleasant bustle at busier times. The food was thoroughly hearty, and sensibly priced. A blandly filling crab soup was followed by a joyous fish pie, whose ethereal mash was packed with maritime surprises. A good range of prices on the wine list and the menu means Stanza is suitable for most pockets.
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