"Ever since mankind learnt to walk upright and sprinkle oregano on dough, nothing has captured the futility of human existence like the search for the perfect pizza.. I too have long sought the holy grail of cheese on toast (“Italian Welsh rarebit”, as pizza was amusingly styled when it reached Britain in the Fifties), always finding some flaw with even the best of them. If the crust was perfect, the toppings were mediocre, and vice versa. If the herbiness was just right, the mozzarella wasn’t. Whether in the traditional hotbeds of southern Italy and New York City, or in more recherché pizza-making hot spots such as Patagonia, Antigua and Yeovil, my quest inevitably ended in disappointment.
I believe, though, it may have ended – last week in Belgravia, of all places...
While so many feted restaurants are a touch Marie Celeste in daylight hours, this place was absolutely rammed, and the pizza explained why... this pizza was sensational.
In a bid to avoid a return to Pseud’s Corner, I won’t come over too elegiac about the lightness of the crispy, thin crust, which puffed out into airy bubbles at the rim and had that gorgeous hint of borderline burntness at the base. The toppings were also outstanding. My friend went for the girliest pizza on offer, the Caprino, which brought together goat’s cheese, aubergine and sun-dried tomatoes. “Not soggy, not dry, good and herby, generous with the tomato sauce and mozzarella, really well balanced toppings,” he said. “This is magnificent.” So was my Salsiccia, a congeries of minced Sardinian sausage and, offsetting their savouriness, sweet red onion. I was charmingly rebuked by the waitress (“too much, too much!”) for festooning it with dried chillies, but pizza cannot be too eye-watering for my taste.
The temptation, when asked about puddings, was to ask for another pizza. Instead we shared a wodge of spectacular tiramisù, before the Gwyneth Paltrow of the Fourth Estate ordered fresh mint tea rather than coffee, and refused the complimentary cough-mixtureish Italian liqueur offered alongside it.
Who would have thought that my global pizza quest could have concluded a five-minute walk from the Telegraph office? The Wizard of Oz was right. Give my best to the Munchkins, colour my slippers ruby and call me Dorothy: when it comes to pizza, there truly is no place like home."