After checking out our Best Pizza in London feature, Rossopomodoro got in touch to find out if we’d like to review their authentic Neopolitan pizza. They were already on our ‘pizza hit list’ so we met their invitation with an enthusiastic ‘Si, Grazie’!
We headed down to their Covent Garden branch, one of 9 restaurants across London so far. It’s on the corner of Monmouth Street and Upper St Martin’s Lane, now prettily bedazzled with Christmas lights. Ezra and Jed don’t look too impressed, most likely because they were h-u-n-g-r-y!
The restaurant has an open plan feel with white chairs and light pine tables. It was buzzing with customers on a Tuesday evening. Tables around the space are bedecked with fresh herb pots and tins of olive oil infused with garlic, chilli and other delights.
As soon as we sat down, Ezra informed me he was too ‘big’ (i.e. greedy) for the Kids Menu and of course Jed insisted he could handle an adult pizza too.
We began our three course meal with 3 starters to share:
-Polpette (pork meatballs, amatriciana sauce, onion, bacon, tomato, chilli)
-Funghi e pancetta bruschette (chargrilled homemade bread, wild mushroom cream, crispy pancetta, garlic, chilli, parsley)
-Parmigiana (aubergine bake, smoked mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce)
I found the meatballs yummy if a little salty; the boys wolfed them down. The bruschette was less popular because the mushroom cream was a bit pungent for our tastes. My favourite starter was the Parmigiana: I had described this to the boys as a sort of ‘mini vegetable lasagne’ and although Ezra said he ‘liked the cheese bit more than the vegetable bit’, I was all over that gooey, saucy aubergine.
Drenched in delicious olive oil from Napoli, everything was rich and super filling, but we were still ready to tackle the pizzas.
The boys stuck to Margheritas as ever and Ezra said his was ‘delish, as Auntie Toks would say!’ On the waitress’ advice I opted for the Massese (mozzarella, spicy spianata salami, basil and tomato sauce) and this turned out to be an excellent choice.
Traditionally, Napoli-style pizzas have a more pillowy base than your typical thin crust. While I love a crisp base, the Rossopomodoro pizza was both deeply satisfying and surprisingly comforting —- like having your taste buds hugged by an Italian nonna.
The pizzas were Just So Large that none of us managed to finish them. We took our leftovers home in a pizza box — grumpily noting that Daddy would probably gobble them up (luckily I got to eat mine for lunch the next day and it was even tastier than I remembered).
Despite bursting at the waistbands, it seemed unreasonable not to look at the dessert menu and the boys quickly spotted the Calda Calda: sweet fried pizza dough dusted with vanilla icing sugar, stuffed and drizzled with Nutella. I went for a slightly more saintly Neopolitan vanilla and strawberry ice cream, but I had a bite of the babes’ dessert and I can assure you it tastes as good as it looks.
Rossopomodoro only hire pizza chefs aka pizzaioli who come from pizzaioli families, and make pizzas in traditional wood-fired ovens. They describe themselves as ‘the best pizza this side of Naples’ and although I’ve never visited Naples, I’m inclined to believe them.
It was a delicious meal, and it’s always thrilling being able to watch pizzaioli in action — whether they’re tossing dough in the air, or shovelling pizzas in and out of the pimped-out oven.
Find Rossopomodoro at Covent Garden or branches in Camden, Oxford Street, Chelsea, Hoxton, Notting Hill, Swiss Cottage, Kingston & Wandsworth and other UK spots. Pizzas from, Kids Menu £7 for 2 courses + drink (add £2 for dessert). Birthday parties from £12 per person. Visit www.rossopomodoro.co.uk