Like a gangster
On the run
You will stagger homeward
To your precious one
Americans don’t half like to whinge when they’re bivouacked in London: we don’t have good Sushi, we don’t have Barbeque, our Coffee is swill (they’re right on that one) and don’t get me started on Mexican. I’ll admit when it comes to certain restaurant categories we have a bit of catching up to do. We just don’t ‘get’ Q (a visit to Lockhart TX is mandatory for meat lovers to see what it’s all about) and never will. But things aren’t that bad. We’re getting better at the Sushi and even new Mexican joints are garnering a few good reviews.
Anyway. I had a little carb craving and I wasn’t in the mood for F&C but it had been a long time since I had eaten a pizza (something else we’re not supposed to do very well). Pizza is very popular in the UK but we rarely do it properly (good = quality base + simple topping + very hot oven NOT deep frying it). If I’m going to shove carbs down my throat then I prefer them to be decent carbs. So I looked around for somewhere to get my fix. On the night I visited, pizzeria Spaccanapoli, situated in the heart of London’s Famous West End, was buzzing like crazy and much of the buzz sounded American and Italian. A good sign but was this pizza nirvana ?
My starter of octopus salad was fresh and tasty. Ollie came in nice meaty chunks with a bit of salad and some unnecessary olives although I prefer the Galician way: serving it on potatoes and sprinkled with pimenton and liberally doused in olive oil. Not bad though.
I’d ordered a Marinara which I thought was tomato, garlic, olive oil and sometimes basil. My pizza came with the addition of black olives, capers and anchovies which I thought was a Napoletana but not according to the menu and the chefs and owners are from Naples, so what do I know (sweet fa since you ask).
The pizza itself was a disappointment. I wanted to taste more of the bread but apart from the crust the rest of the pizza was a bit soggy. Too much tomato. The anchovies and capers had coalesced making some bites intensely salty. Maybe this how it was meant to be, but I didn’t like it.
To cheer myself up I had a Tiramisu, after ice cream one of my favourite desserts. The light mix of chocolate, coffee, cream and marscapone with a slight bite of sponge and an alcoholic finish is always a winner and this one was a pretty good example. One double espresso and grappa later and I was out of there.
A pleasant enough experience then. The atmosphere was lively and the service prompt. However, the pizza, their raison etre, was not a success. A pretty big failing. So perhaps the colonials have a point after all...