(**unfortunately, since writing this post, SpaccaNapoli has since closed down)
101 Dean Street, Soho W1 | http://www.spaccanapoli.co.uk | ingested twice in ’09
A stone’s throw off the chaos of Oxford Street, it would be easy to write-off this Soho Trattoria given its prime tourist-trap location. But this isn’t your average high-street Pizza Express. Spacca Napoli’s traditional wood-fire ovens produce some of Central London’s most authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
The piece de resistance here is the Pizza Al Metro (…and yes, as it says on the tin, pizza here does indeed come by the metre). Choose up to four different toppings per meter, merging classics such as the Margherita, Capriccsiosa and Napoletena together. There’s seriously nothing like the sight of the Al Metro stretched along the entire length of the table – the technicolour of the rustic toppings in their full glory. The dough is spot on, baked to perfection with just the right balance of spring, crisp and of course the distinct wood-smoked overtone from the oven. Its the perfect starter for large groups to tuck into.
Pizza Al Metro (with 2 happy boys on the side)
If you’re not feeling Pizza, choose from a wide selection of traditional antipasti and main dishes from Naples and the rest of Italy. The fresh pastas here are on the money. Freshly made fusilli napoletani in a seafood ragu of seabass, clams and mussels was rich, bold and full of flavour. Other classics like Papardelle with tomato, basil and buffalo mozzerela offer something a little cleaner and lighter on the palate.
Spacca’s Pastas: Fusilli Napoletani con ragu di vongole, cozze e spigola (left); Pappardelle con pomodorini, basilico e bufala fresca (right)
This place has all the makings of a great Trattoria. Fresh, rustic, mama-style Italian food at its best with a bustling, loyal clientele to match.