Santa Maria Fitzrovia

Restaurants, Pizza Fitzrovia
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
1/3
2/3
3/3

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.

By: Kelly Pigram

Posted:

Venue name: Santa Maria Fitzrovia
Contact:
Address: 160 New Cavendish Street
London
W1W 6YR
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £50.
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tastemaker

For the first week of their opening, Santa Maria in Fitzrovia were doing pizzas for 50% off. So naturally, my friends and I had to come. I'd heard about this place before but never got the chance to try it so this was the perfect opportunity with the discount and a more central location.


In terms of hospitality, I wasn't very impressed. We came on a weekday night for dinner. Me and another friend arrived first so we asked for a table for 5 but the hostess seemed reluctant to give us a table even though they weren't full or super busy at the time. She immediately told us that she'd need the table back within 1hour15minutes, which was fine with us because a pizza meal doesn't take too long. When it came time to order, our waitress was rather sassy, which was surprising and also didn't give her the friendliest approach or attitude. 


As we waited for the rest of our friends, I gave the menu a good browse and decided to go for the San Rocco. This pizza comes with a tomato base, topped with pecorino DOP, rocket, aubergines, and a generous ball of burrata pugliese. I absolutely loved the burrata, as it was firm on the outside, which held the creamy centre well. It paired well with the rocket, which gave the pizza a good zest and spiciness. However, I did find that there was far too much pecorino DOP sprinkled on top of the pizza. I ended up with a giant pile at the end because that amount made the pizza too salty. As for the tomato sauce, I wasn't impressed either because I found it too sour for my taste. 


Everyone's order did look rather good though. The pizzas were a generous size and topped with lots of ingredients (sometimes too much!). As for the dough, I liked it because it had a good bread-y texture, which gave it a good bite. It was baked evenly and thin in the middle, making it very enjoyable. 


Despite the decent food, we were not too impressed with the service and opted to exclude the service charge. This was obviously made known as there was a leftover amount. After explaining to our waitress who was handling our payments, she acknowledged this. About a minute later, another waitress came around to ask how everything was - clearly with reference to the service charge. Then, I believe the manager also came around to ask our table how everything was, which to be honest, seemed rather excessive to have three employees ask about the service charge. I do understand that this was their first week and perhaps they were trying to gain feedback to improve but it seemed more about us not paying the service charge.