Bianco43 is driftwood. Not the Thames-soaked brown branches found on the river’s Greenwich beaches.
But the bones of an ancient forest ground smooth and bleached on the Amalfi coast. It’s austere. Minimal. A simple backdrop.
Despite the aesthetic it manages warmth and, more importantly, sanctuary from Greenwich’s flesh river of visitors flowing over the town’s barely adequate pavements.
We pop up to the first floor to make sure we’re well clear of the tide in case it rises.
We sit by a window so we can see the poor fools carried along by the currents outside. And above the bustle, a soft, charming meal unfolds.
The restaurant is part of a micro chain but it’s hard to overcome the illusion that it’s an authentic neighbourhood independent.
It has the flavour of a place where a middle aged Italian couple sling insults at each other while effortlessly whipping tasty, rustic dishes into existence.
The food is snappy and simple. Crisp flavours fitted neatly into uncomplicated sauces. Well priced at £13.50 for a pasta.
Refreshing, clean bruschetta tastes as though its creation involves tomatoes plucked from the vine moments before. A fizzy entree before we embark on sizeable plates of pasta.
My pappardelle con funghi selvatici e anatra arrives on colourful crockery.
It’s a deceptively dense Duomo of pasta ribbons, duck and mushrooms, clumsily garnished but rich in taste.
It’s homely, a good fit for the typical clientele, represented by tables of adult families filling up around us.
This is a place to take the parents when they pop up town to see where their spawn reside. A good distraction from the state of the flat.
A hiccup with an absent dessert is smoothed over by Teflon staff and a replacement quickly found. Then it’s sweet wine to finish, out and away.
Bianco 43, 43 Greenwich Church Street, London, SE10 9BL, 020 8858 2668, bianco43.com.