A branch of the pizza restaurant in Fitzrovia.
Santa Maria has nailed the trifecta of peerless pizza: fresh ingredients, traditional methods, spectacular sourdough. The margherita at this Fitzrovia branch of the revered restaurant was practically perfect. It had a bubbly sourdough crust, an ultra-flat base covered with a thin, flavourful tomato sauce and some fresh, milky mozzarella. Though I couldn’t really taste it, I could smell the single leaf of basil on top before it hit the table. Another great choice was the Santa Paolo, a white pizza with spicy ’nduja, mozzarella and some great herby-fatty crumbles of pork-and-fennel sausage – with no tomato sauce, the flavour of that deliciously simple sourdough really shone through.
But the third pizza I ordered (for research purposes, you understand), the Santa Rosa, was terrible: gummy, oblong sticks of salami, a wet tomato base and slimy aubergine. If nothing else, it was proof that Santa Maria excels at the simple things, but seems to get a bit lost when there’s too much on its plate. At most Naples-style pizza places – even this one, which is less local pizzeria and more polished, pastel-accented, inner-city lunch destination – a margherita will almost always be the queen.
|Venue name:||Santa Maria Fitzrovia|
160 New Cavendish Street
|Transport:||Tube: Goodge Street|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £50.|
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