When Pizza East opened in 2009 — all bold industrial interiors and hipster servers — we merrily climbed aboard the carb bandwagon, rejoicing in this slice of New York aesthetic in Shoreditch.
A couple of years on, and Nick Jones has expanded his empire — this time taking on west London with the newly opened Pizza East Portobello. The venue — a restored Georgian pub — has been given the stripped-back treatment, and the crowds of hungry punters have duly followed.
When we visited last night, the menu was bang on: cheeses (hello burrata) and cured meats, great small plates (aubergine fritti, bone-marrow bruschetta), and unmissable pizzas (crisp air-filled crust, mounds of spiced sausage, puddles of smooth mozzarella and — token vegetable alert! — broccoli). Wines by the carafe were great value: we opted for a decent pinot grigio rose in deference to the still-sunny-evening and the brunette’s aversion to red.
If we’d had room for pudding (though when the savoury stuff is this good that seems something of a waste), the salted chocolate caramel tart would’ve been first choice. Instead a glass of limoncello finished the evening to a tee. Great with mates, great for a date. Esquire most definitely approves.
Pizza East Portobello, London W10 (+44 20 8969 4500 pizzaeastportobello.com)