Well loved locally, Red Pepper’s ground floor can get crowded (best to book in advance), and while cosy is nice, waitresses brushing past your arm is less so. Thankfully, a big window fills the space with daylight, reflected by large mirrors hung on burgundy walls to brighten the mood. There’s extra breathing space in the basement, where you can watch chefs at the wood-burning pizza oven. Pizzas dominate the short menu, which also includes a handful of pasta and risotto dishes.
The specials board majors on seafood – mackerel, swordfish and langoustines were all offered on our visit. A new addition to the regular menu is ‘Italian tapas’: downsized starters, such as bruschette and ‘frittatas’, the latter baked bite-sized morsels of spaghetti with pieces of courgette and mozzarella bound together with egg. These may well have been created as an economical way to deal with leftover pasta, but their crispy texture and simple flavours work.
The pizzas are crisp and authentic; the asparagi is a ‘white pizza’ with rich fior di latte, parmesan, a few pieces of asparagus and fresh chillies that pack a punch. Even spicier is the aptly named diavola, containing piquant Italian salami as well as chillies.
|Venue name:||Red Pepper||Contact:|
8 Formosa Street
|Opening hours:||Dinner served 6.30-11pm Mon-Fri. Meals served noon-11pm Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Warwick Avenue|
|Price:||Main courses £9.50-£25|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
2.4 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
This is one of my favourite restaurants. I love the location (Formosa Street) and the buzzy atmosphere, and on a summer’s evening like last night, with the windows and doors wide open and busy tables outside, one could even feel like they were dining in Italy. To start, my table of five shared a selection of antipasti. It was all of an excellent standard, but I think the burrata and cerignola olives (99% sure that’s what they were) were especially great. For anyone out there who, like me, likes olives but can sometimes find them a little intimidating/intense, these were perfect. Their flavour was subtle yet tasty enough to the point that they were moreish. The burrata was creamy and flavoursome and complemented the other antipasti well (courgette, rocket, bresaola). I should also add that I had a glass of the house white wine that was delightful. For main, I enjoyed a spinaci pizza (tomato, mozarella, spinach, egg and parmesan). The only thing I will say about the pizza is that the egg wasn’t runny. “It’s up to you to ask for a runny egg if you want one!” I hear you protesting; I was under the impression it went without saying but perhaps I was being naive. I’ve clearly learnt an important life lesson here. ‘Egg-gate’ aside the pizza was great; the perfect proportion of tomato, cheese and guest ingredients, and cooked just right. It even had a little dough horn growing out of it that contributed to the evening’s amusement. My fellow diners had only praise for their mains, in particular the tuna tartare. I regret to say that we didn’t have time for dessert. I have no doubt it would have been wonderful though. The service is top rate – we were greeted in a friendly manner by a lady who seemed to be the owner, read the specials by a jovial waiter and served in good time. In summary, I would thoroughly recommend The Red Pepper. I had a great evening; this was of course due partly to the superb company but also due to the excellent food, great service and ambience.
Food is good, but not great. The service is atrocious. We were told we absolutely couldn't order meals out of sequence (somebody who arrived late wanted a starter when we were having mains) because it was "against policy". The actually put up a fight and were exceedingly rude and haughty about it. Red Pepper, you are an average restaurant that benefits from being one of the only places in Little Venice to get a not-awful plate of food. Don't overtrade on your meager accomplishments.
Worst place ever. Waiter could not speak English, everything we ordered was wrong, even when we asked for Olives it was not understood. They didn't tell us that the bread was at a charge. The pasta was mediocre. The pizza average. The wine list is below expectation with very average wines at high prices. expensive y were replenishing without being asked they were actually charging us for. It ended up over £30 a head . We thought we’d try something new, but will stick to what we know.
- Worse restaurant ever! We went there and ordered two glasses of wine and they gave us the smallest glasses ever seen. When we asked whether they had different sizes and they said no. We requested whether they could fill in the glasses to the usual measure. They took the glasses away and came back with the exact same amount. I can't believe we paid for a £6 glass with seriously almost no wine in it. Really disappointing. Food wasn't great either. Pizzas had almost no taste. The place is ridiculously small - we had to sit next to a couple almost touching each other's arms. I’d really advice not to go to this place (and I don’t normally post anything bad, unless it’s like this; where the restaurant takes advantage of its customers).