★★★★☆ / Italian / Pizza

Rossopomodoro review – is this Covent Garden pizza chain the weakest link?

Disclosure: The Picky Glutton was invited to review this restaurant and the meal in this review was prepaid for by the restaurant in the form of an unsolicited voucher.

As a general rule I’m not fond of eating out at chain restaurants in London. With so many interesting independents to choose from in the capital, picking a chain, especially one of the big national or multinational behemoths which can be found almost anywhere else in the country, seems like a wasted opportunity. It’s not a hard and fast rule though and every once in a while I come across a chain that I like – Rossopomodoro is one of them.

Rossopomodoro has just six branches in London with an outpost in Birmingham. I visited the Covent Garden branch, the site of the old Gili Gulu kaiten sushi buffet restaurant, with Wicket in tow. The place is moodily lit with a kitchen-like appearance to it, while the service was polite and efficient.

Wicket started off with the Parmigiana, which could be described as an Italian moussaka if you’re a culinary reductionist. A large heap of aubergines, which hadn’t been overcooked so they weren’t too mushy, was topped with a creamy, oozing layer of mozzarella that added a light smokiness to the dish.

parmigiana baked aubergines at rossopomodoro

Potted Parmigiana photo.

I went for a platter of cured meats as my starter. The chorizo-esque salami was forgettable, but the nutty and earthy bresaola and fatty, delicate parma ham hit the spot nicely.

salumiere at rossopomodoro

All aboard.

Wicket was clearly intent on having an aubergine bender, as eggplant turned up again on his Verduretta pizza. The standout topping on this pizza was the seared courgettes though. Their charred creaminess was complimented well by the sweet and vibrant tomato sauce as well as the sweet creaminess of the mozzarella.

verduretta aubergine pizza at rossopomodoro

Aubergine bender continues.

My Carmelo pizza used the same base as the Verduretta – a lightly crisp crust giving way to a softer, floppier center. It’s not quite as fluffy, light and sweet as the bases used at Franco Manca, nor is it as firm as the ones used by Pizza Pilgrims, but it’s still a good, evenly cooked foundation for the various toppings. My pizza was a touch greasy, but the fennel-flecked flavours of the sausage melded well with the bitterness of the rapini broccoli. The absence of tomato sauce, making this a bianca pizza, allowed the light smokiness of the mozzarella to shine through.

carmelo bianca pizza at rossopomodoro

Sausage-fest.

Both Wicket and I opted for the Pastiera for dessert. This cake almost resembled a cheesecake in its moistness, while bits of candied orange added a sweet, zesty flavour.

pastiera cake at rossopomodoro

Pastiera for postres please.

Some of the most distinctive items on Rossopomodoro’s menu are the soft drinks. There’s our old favourite, the limonata. This Italian lemonade is zingy without being excessively sweet or overly sour. Even better is the Chinotto Lurisia, a soft drink made from the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. The bitter, sour and refreshing taste is somehow reminiscent of grapefruit, candy floss and liquorice all at the same time.

limonata at rossopomodoro

LIke lemonade, love limonata.

chinotto lurisia at rossopomodoro

Where have you been all my life?

The Verdict

Rossopomodoro may not be the trendiest pizza place in London, but it’s still surprisingly good with some interesting desserts, starters and soft drinks to compliment the tastefully prepared pies.

Name: Rossopomodoro

Branch tried: 50 – 52 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9EP

Phone: 0207 240 9095

Webhttp://rossopomodoro.co.uk/restaurant/covent-garden/

Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday noon-23.00. Friday-Saturday noon-23.30 and Sunday noon-22.00.

Reservations: probably a good idea

Total cost for one person including soft drinks when shared between two people: £30 approx.

Rating★★★★☆

Rossopomodoro on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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6 thoughts on “Rossopomodoro review – is this Covent Garden pizza chain the weakest link?

  1. I went here a few weeks ago after an increasingly panicked hunt for somewhere to eat before seeing Matilda the Musical. I had to bolt it down but the spicy seafood pasta was genuinely above par for a chain restaurant. Glad you were unexpectedly impressed too!

  2. We went there last year before seeing Matilda also. Again – in a bit of a hurry but the food was good in both taste and value. The service was excellent and they were particularly helpful for one of our party who is disabled. I recommend them too. I think they’re opening one this year near me in Wandsworth…hurrah!

  3. Pingback: Piccolo Forno review – Soho backstreet pizza | The Picky Glutton

  4. Can’t believe you took a bribe. For shame. Clearly your taste was altered by the free price tag.

    Stale bread with toppings claiming to be bruscetta. Doughy under cooked flavourless pizza and a waiter who literally took the plates from the table without asking while i still had the last piece of pizza in my hand. (its still pizza I’m hardly going to leave it am I?)

    • I can’t believe you don’t know how to use commas and capitalisation properly. Your poor use of grammar has clearly impeded your ability to recognise differences in opinion. And your ability to recognise the possible effect of the passage of time on standards in both cooking and service at a restaurant.

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