Fresh pasta bars may not be that hard to find in London these days, but that's because they're so damn good. There's something so satisfying about watching a chef roll, stretch and cut dough in front of you, then do that satisfying flour dust thing before introducing it to that salty bath that will transform it into a perfectly al dente plate of carby goodness. Bancone is one such place, just off Trafalgar Square, that feels fancy enough for a date, but relaxed enough for a casual bite - and cheap enough for either. We sat at the marble counter for prime pasta watching and settled in with an excellent negroni. To eat we started with a plate of smoked duck breast with charred, picked artichokes and another of chicory, sour onions and anchovy crumb: both simple and superb. For the main event we had a delightfully rich cacio e pepe and a delightfully delicate cuttlefish tagliatelle with chilli and garlic. For a refreshing finish, we'd tip the Amalfi lemon syllabub.