11-12 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3RP (map)
Streetfood pizzeria Pizza Pilgrims held a hugely anticipated launch party and advance preview of their first permanent pizzeria on Tuesday night. Their new home is in the heart of Soho, opposite high-street chain, Pizza Express, and a stone’s throw away from the popular pizza independant, Soho Joe.
Following their Italian pilgrimage to learn the art of Neapolitan pizza making, brothers Thom and James Elliott returned to England and burst onto the street food scene with a Piaggio Ape Van converted into a mobile pizza oven!
Pizza Pilgrims is now a huge street food favourite. Ever since they appeared on the London food scene in 2011, hungry Londoners have been queuing by their street market stall at Berwick Street Market, Soho. Even in the bitter cold of winter, crowds could be seen huddled together waiting for an oven fresh lunchtime pizza.
“Street food will always [be] a big part of what we do. However, after 18 months with the wind blowing through our kitchen – it is really exciting to have our own 4 wall. A proper home…”
Source: Thom & James Elliott – Founders of Pizza Pilgrims
Since their launch Pizza Pilgrims has gained a huge fan-base with their crisp, freshly made, individual pizzas from Berwick Street Market and KERB (formally Eat Street). They have also been a popular fixture on the festival scene with appearances at Foodies Festival, Henley Regatta and will be pizza slinging at Camp Bestival this year.
Guests for the night included TV Chef, Gizzi Erskine, Neil Rankin (former head chef of Pitt Cue and head chef of ‘soon-to-launch’ Smokehouse in Islington) and many other faces from the London food scene.
Pizzas were served from the oven on the ground floor while the basement bar served Birra Moretti and Aperol Fizz. The bar staff confirmed that Italian red and white wine; Italian beer (Birra Moretti, and San Pellegrino); and more surprisingly the (infamous) Italian ‘Lambrusco’ will be available ‘on-tap’.
The pizza-centric menu is amusingly split into “Pre Pizza”, “Not Pizza”, “Pizza”, and “After Pizza”, so you know that you’re definitely in a pizzeria!
There are a whopping 10 pizza varieties on offer ranging from £7 to £11 for a Calzone. The one which has caught my eye is the fascinating “Artichoke Ricotta, and Smoked Garlic Oil”!
- Marinara (£7)
Tomato, oregano, fresh garlic, basil, oliver oil
- Margherita (£8)
Tomato, fior di latte, parmesan, basil & olive oil
- Filetti (£8)
Cherry tomatoes, fior di latte, parmesan, basil & olive oil
- Bufala (£9)
Margherita with buffalo mozzarella
- Nduja (£9)
Margherita with Nduja (a spicy Calabrian Sausage)
- Napoli Salami (£9)
Margherita with black pepper salami from Naples
- Artichoke, Ricotta and Spoke Garlic Oil (£9)
Margherita topped with the above
- Salsiccia E Friarielli (£10)
Fresh fennel, sausage, wild brocolli, fior di latte, parmesan, basil & oliver oil
- Portobello Mushroom & Truffle (£10)
Portobello Mushroom, fior di latte, parmesan, basil & olive oil
- Calzone Ripieno (£11)
Folded pizza with proscultto cotto, ricotta & mushroom, topped with tomato, fior di latte, parmesan
For those of you strange enough to visit a pizzeria and ‘not‘ order pizza there are two alternatives. A “Large panzanella” (i.e. typically a bread and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar) and a “Berwick St. Market green salad”. Not extensive, and neither should it be… after all, this is a pizzeria! I don’t go into a butcher and ask for vegetables.
The “After Pizza” menu (aka Dessert), includes a “Blood Orange” and “Amalfi Lemon” Sorbets and even a “Nutella Pizza Ring”!
Congratulations to Thom and James for their immense achievement. From a startup in 2011 they now have a TV series on the Food Network “Pizza Italiana with Thom and James” , a new book “Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy” including an interactive iPad edition which is on offer on iTunes for £5 (instead of £10) until Monday 05-Aug.