Pizza Pilgrims Restaurant Review, Soho

Aug 12

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Just off of Soho square, cheekily positioned opposite the Pizza Express jazz bar, you’ll find the Pizza Pilgrims boys’ first permanent restaurant. They’re the pin ups of pop up, starting out from a van after touring Italy together to find the best base, ingredients, and flavour combos. Now after Microsoft featured them in a campaign and years of proving just how good their Italian wares are, they’ve opened a permanent restaurant in the heart of Soho.

Atmosphere and Deco – 7/10

As you walk in you’ll see the guys working in the kitchen with a few seats along counters but most of the restaurant is down stairs. It’s bright and fun with a fussball table in one corner and colourful retro Italian posters on the walls. The are a few cubby holes for larger tables, perfect for an intimate birthday meal. A little addition that I loved was a white board with an explanation of Italian ingredients on the menu and even how to pronounce them. Things like the spreadable and spicy nduja sausage and fior de latte (cow mozzarella, not buffalo). Tables were a little crammed in, but I’ve had far worse in the likes of other trendy no-bookings-allowed places like Polpo or Duck Soup.

Food – 7/10

The menu is simple and small, focussing on what they do best, pizza. There are a few appetizer dishes like olives and bread but its very much all about the main event. Lots of choice makes me nervous (food envy of my banqueting buddy is one of the worst feelings in the world), so the concise options were great.

We had a Salsiccia E Friarielli (fennel sausage, wild broccoli, fior di latte and basil) and an artichoke, ricotta and smoked garlic oil number. The base was top notch, extremely fresh with a crispy but not too crunchy crust. The flour is shipped in from Naples don’t you know. The sausage was a little disappointing and not as flavoursome as I was expecting, but the kale-like wild broccoli gave it a good flavour. The artichoke was a much better flavour combo for me, with the sweet and smooth ricotta complimenting the slightly pickled artichoke well.

Afters was ice cream two ways. With olive oil and salt, which is a new favourite of mine. Good quality oil is essential and the Pilgrims delivered. Our other dessert was Italian classic Affogato. I always like the idea of espresso and vanilla ice cream but because of the whole frozen / boiling temperature thing, the reality was a watery coffee milkshake by the end. By no fault of the Pilgrims of course, that’s just how it is!

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Service -8/10

Lots of staff were buzzing about the place, all extremely friendly and helpful, despite the restaurant being open less than a week. We visited Lardo’s rooftop project Coppa around a month after it had opened and the staff had far more of the just opened, not-quite-sure feel. So well done Pizza Pilgrims! Our waiter knew the menu well and could answer all of our questions. Our food and drinks were brought promptly but not too quickly and we stayed chatting a while after we had finished, not at all feeling obliged to leave like in some other busy Soho eateries.

Price – 6.5/10

£37 for 2 pizzas, 2 ice cream desserts, a beer and a soft drink. Pizzas were reasonably priced for the fresh and interesting ingredients, but £4.50 for 3/4 pint on draft was a bit steep, as was £4 for a scoop of ice cream with a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt.

Verdict – 7/10

Fantastic pizza base, great service and cute decor make the newly opened Pizza Pilgrims restaurant a good little place to have on your list for a reasonably priced and tasty bite after work. The toppings could do with a few small tweaks – a little less vinegar or something sweet to balance the artichoke and a more flavoursome sausage but that’s me being over picky. Get down there before all the crowds do!

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