One of the challenges of eating out in Covent Garden is to avoid the tourist traps and find somewhere authentic and affordable. Rossopomodoro’s Covent Garden restaurant is in olive-spitting distance from well-known chains Bella Italia and Spaghetti House. I was curious as to what culinary delights yet another Italian restaurant chain can offer the area.
The décor is simple and functional with ceiling lamps, and a golden mosaic tile wood oven creates a kitchen-like appearance.
The menu is wide and varying. Napoli is famed for its pizzas. There were many ingredients and dish names we weren’t familiar with. Being in an adventurous mood we took the recommendations of the hospitable staff.
Aperol Spritz (Prosecco, Aperol and soda water)
Green & juicy black olives and salted yellow Lupin beans with chilli and pepper
Burrata – Fresh and creamy Burrata on a whole-wheat focaccia with slices tomatoes and grilled vegetables (aubergine, courgette and roasted red pepper). Burrata is a combination of mozzarella (providing the outer shell) and cream (providing a gooey centre). When visiting Napoli we over indulge on mozzarella as it has been such a disappointment anywhere else. Here they fly in their DOP Buffalo Mozzarella so we knew we were onto a good thing. The opening of the burrata is an event itself with olive oil and pepper adding the final touches. Each mouthful differentiated itself from the previous one by the varying topping.
Gialla, Provola e Nduja Pizza
Liking spicy food I chose this sweet yellow plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy spianata salami and basil pizza drizzled with chilli oil. The pizza dough has a raised soft crust with slight charring and a soft, juicy heart in the centre. The unfamiliar ingredient was the spicy spianata which is a flattened salami sausage smoked over maple wood which has a deliciously rich and spicy and subtly smoky flavour. Unlike other salamis, including pepperoni, the spianata melts, creating juicy meaty pools of happiness.
Cestello di Pasta Mista Cozze e Fagioli
Mixed Pasta with mussels, cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli served in homemade basket of bread. This made for an interesting and subtle mix of flavours. Contained within a pizza-base bowl which remains crisp on the edge and absorbs the juices at the bottom. It is unusual to see Pasta Mista Cozze e Fagioli in London but in Naples it is wheeled out at the end of wedding feasts, at the point where guests think the meal has ended and are so stuffed they can’t eat any more but are always tempted by la sorpresa dello chef, a firm local favourite.
We chose Greco di Tufo DOCG, one we are familiar with from our holidays in Napoli. With flavours of wild fennel, sage and white flowers it was robust enough to hold its own against the Gialla, Provola e Nduja Pizza.
Nurchetto, apple liqueur.
Much like the cox apple in England, the annurca apple is the queen of Italian apples. It’s crisp, tart and juicy. It lends itself well to the culinary preparations from cakes, sorbets, decoctions vinegar, jams, juices
This is no normal Italian restaurant chain – Their unique approach to ingredients they source from in and around the Naples area. Naples is the region’s capital and is famous the world over for their pizzas (think Julia Roberts in 2010 film Eat, Love Pray rather than Mystic Pizza). Their pizza dough has a 24-hour long proofing process and is made with Caputo red quality flour and mineral water they import. They even have a clock on the wall showing how long their dough has been proofed.
Their key to success? Local Napolitan, high-quality ingredients, traditional Neapolitan recipes and professional and passionate staff is a winning combination.
Rossopomodoro Covent Garden address:
50 – 52 Monmouth Street, WC2 H9EP
Monday – Thursday: 12.00 – 23.00
Friday – Saturday: 12.00 – 23.30
Sunday: 12.00 – 22.00
Heading to Covent Garden at Lunchtime?
Rossopomodoro offers a lunchtime deal: Two courses for £9.95 2 with a coffee and a coppetta dessert for £2.95. Offer available Mon-Fri 12pm to 5pm, except public holidays.
T&Cs: 12.5% optional service charge. Not valid with any other offer. Subject to availability. Not available on Bank Holidays and special events dates.
Rossopomodoro has other branches in Camden, Chelsea, Hoxton, Oxford Street (John Lewis), Swiss Cottage, Wandsworth, Kingston and Newcastle.
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*I was a guest of Rossopomodoro, but as always my opinion is my own. Contact email@example.com
Hazel Baker is a qualified CIGA Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Hazel’s walking tours.