Pizza Locadeli is the pizza pop-up by Michelin starred Italian restaurant Locanda Locatelli and largely seems to be something for the staff to do while the restaurant is undergoing a 3 month refurb. And that, beyond the loose Italian theme, is about all the two have to do with each other. The menu is centred around a handful of pastas and pizzas and is best described (and priced) as a slightly upscale café.
What you need to know
- Pizzas are thin and crispy and enough for one hungry person
- Focus is on small portions but well executed food
- The wine selection is short but excellent
- The space and décor maintains the spartan unfinished look
- They do provide tap water but will definitely try to upsell you on the still/sparkling
- Be prepared to share your table if there are empty seats
Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★☆☆ Atmosphere: ★★☆☆☆ Value: ★★★☆☆ Overall: ★★★☆☆
There is no bar space here so you’ll need to gather somewhere else. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much in the area so you are better off walking a few minutes towards Bond St and grabbing a pint at one of the many pubs on Thayer and Marylebone streets. The Marylebone pub is about 5 minutes away on Thayer St and is good for a pint or a cheeky mid-afternoon Laphroaig (no? maybe that’s just me).
What to eat?
We opted to try both the pasta and the pizzas and ordered the mushroom pasta with truffle, the Calabrese pizza, and the seafood pizza whose proper name escapes me. We also got the parma ham with black figs drizzled in honey and the swordfish carpaccio to start.
The parma ham with figs was delicious but really it’s hard to go wrong. Great fresh ingredients and very little cooking required. The swordfish carpaccio had great potential with delicate flavourful fish boosted with the mild peppery rocket balanced by the refreshing balls of watermelon. All that lovely flavour was then brutally overwhelmed by the addition of pine nuts which added absolutely nothing to the dish.
Pizza-wise, the group was divided on which one was better but unanimously agreed that they were pretty damn tasty. The base is thin and crispy, the toppings crisp and fresh with the Calabrese boasting a spicy Nduja sausage paired with a soft burrata. This was my pick of the two and it worked well with an overall warming heat that was just shy of fiery.
Our second choice was a seafood medley of a pizza which actually worked. The seafood was fresh and flavourful and, because of the thin base, avoided being overcooked and rubbery. I’m usually against any seafood pizzas as they tend to ruin the delicate fish but this one was spot on.
The pasta actually was the highlight of the meal with strong mushroom flavours matching up to the savouriness of the truffle. The pasta itself was perfectly al dente although that shouldn’t be a surprise given the calibre of the kitchen. The only gripe is that the portions are so small that sharing it with others is a bit heart breaking.
How about a drink?
Wine seemed like the logical choice and we ended up with a truly excellent Sangiovese which Vivino reminds me was a Maremma Toscana Syrah 2012. It was fruity with a bit of a dry finish and paired well with the spicy Calabrese. It was a bit too heavy for the seafood pizza but you can’t match everything – should have got a second bottle of wine!
Worth the dosh?
While I enjoyed the meal, I think it was overpriced with the bill for two starters, two pizzas, a pasta, and a bottle of wine rocking in at £130. I believe the wine was around £30-40, but that still leaves a hefty food bill. I’d rather head to Homeslice or Earlham St Clubhouse where I’d shell out about half that for more delicious pizza and get a bit more atmosphere to boot.
The pasta dish was delightful and worth the money but again more as a treat as I don’t think I’d have been satisfied with just that. I can understand the small portions at Locanda Locatelli, but if you’re going to style yourself as a rustic café, I want rustic café portions!
Find Pizza Locadeli here
71 Blandford Street, London, W1U 8AB