Pizza East is a great spot if you are looking for good food and a fun casual vibe for a night with friends. The other advantage is that usually you can get a table without having to plan years in advance. Last monday I decided that it was about time I introduced some of my friends to each other so planned a girls night out for Friday. I also love that my friends eat and drink and don’t have major food allergies or restrictions, if we were in California likely we would have a good mix of gluten, or dairy or some nut allergies. I am actually kidding, most of my friends are good eaters or they likely wouldn’t be my friends…!
What we ate:
Buffalo mozzarella, broad beans, pea shoots: as you can see this was way more burrata than mozzarella which was a happy surprise. It was deliciously creamy and fresh and the beans were perfectly al-dente and springy. A couple of sprinkles of a good sea salt would have made it perfect.
Butter lettuce and avocado salad: this salad may sound boring on paper but it is absolutely delicious. The lettuce is buttery and vibrant and the avocado ripe to perfection and the vinaigrette is made of a grainy mustard that adds a nice fun texture. Simplicity = beauty!
Lamb meatballs: I remembered these meatballs from my last visit. We were a big group when my friend Mike was visiting last year from San Francisco and was introducing me to his London friends. At the time, I loved them (the friends are great too….) and this time they were once again delicious – meaty, flavorful and the nice tomato sauce with melted gooey cheese always helps.
Pea and prosciutto croquettes: super gooey and yummy and even better with the lemon squeeze on top.
Polenta with grilled broccoli and cauliflower: this was hands down the best dish of the night surprisingly. The cubes of polenta were deep fried but were not greasy at all and were perfectly crunchy outside and cheesy and soft inside-delicious and indulgent. To balance, broccoli and cauliflower grilled to perfection. Nice sprinkles of chilli tied the dish all together-MUST EAT!
Heritage carrots, beets and wild garlic: another delicious dish. The carrots were slightly caramelised and the beets perfectly cooked and all tossed in a big green salad.
Courgettes with fregola, goat cheese and pine nuts: I had high expectations for this dish as it sounded delicious. It was good but the ratio of fregola to courgettes was too light on courgettes which I missed and wish there were more! Next time I likely would order other dishes instead as there are too many things on the menu I want to try.
We had three types of pizzas:
Prosciutto San Daniele, rocket, parmesan: my favorite, but I love pizza with rocket (aka arugula if you live in the US) as it adds great freshness. The parmesan was delicious and as a good jew, I always love prosciutto.
Portobello mushrooms, tomato, fontina, oregano: earthy, rich and delicious!!!
Artichoke, sundried tomato, mozzarella, pesto: my least favourite but not because it was not good, just because others were better. And clearly my friends were eager to jump in as I didn’t even get a chance to snap a picture before a slice vanished.
In sum: great value for delicious food and fun vibe. We were just sad with the strict two hour seating as we didn’t have time for dessert! Our meal was £28 per person with two bottles of Rose between the six of us – extremely reasonable.
Pizza East Portobello
310 Portobello Rd, London W10 5T