I was somewhat wary of visiting this restaurant for a meal. I had faintly remembered a review of the place by Giles Coren in 'The Times'.. When I re-read it on-line it was clear that things can change. He had done a 'hatchet job' on the place in August 2004. He complained bitterly about the poor service, mediocre food quality, outrageous wine list, and a bill of fourty pounds plus each.
Of these faults, only the last one remains. The service was friendly yet unobtrusive. Main pizza meals were around a reasonable 7-9 pound mark and the set 2-course menu was a very reasonable 13 quid.
I knew the pizza would be quite good the moment I walked in the joint as I spotted a proper wood burning pizza oven in the far corner. The Calzone was every bit as good as one served in an average to good authentic Italian pizza parlour in Genoa, Florence or Rome.
(where this restaurant as a further eight branches).
Although the venue may lack atmosphere in the normal run of things with the place about 80% full for the VT meeting and the place was rocking.
UPDATE : Now shut, but it is part of a chain and it has it's place in VT history - so the tip remains !
Favorite Dish: My wife, unlike Giles, was impressed the starter of an Aubergine bake.
Being described as a 'zero point five' person on forums about the BIG London VT meeting in Jan 06, I thought I had better present a small person's perspective.
Requirements for a great restaurant :
1) Plenty of crawling space : Il Pom passes, there is acres of space in there, nobdy seemed to mind and you can make a great circuit round the bar .
2) Plenty of chairs to push around and re-arrange : Ilpom passes again in spades, and they made a great scraping sound as well.
3) Plenty of cupboards to open : Once again Il pom is a fine success in this department
4) Plenty of people to play with me : yep, almost a 100 of them, including one who dad says must be very busy in department stores in December. God knows what he is on about.
5) Free biscuits : another big tick.
I'm coming back for more.
P.S Dad said the Pizza was pretty good and authentic.
Favorite Dish: milk ?
Boy, did it take a while for me to find this restaurant! Hard to find a restaurant in Central London who are flexible with numbers, will allow an a-la-carte menu for a party, have a decent deposit (not outrageous!), dont expect a huge guarenteed minimum spend, and are generally friendly and helpful! :)
I have read with interest other peoples reviews of this restaurant (those who went to the London meeting), and am happy t say that most seemed to like it very much. The only complaint I got on the night of the meeting was the fact that there weren't jugs of water available on every table - not too bad considering there were 88.5 (the .5 being a little baba) people there!
They have a proper wood burning pizza oven in the far corner to the right, and you can watch the chefs cooking through a glass divider, so its quite nice.
The restaurant does err toward the quiet, they play music but not that loudly, and the waiters and managers are low-key and quiet. If you are looking for a nice and quiet, romantic evening, then this is perfect for you. Even though it was a bit quiet though, everyone seemed to have a great time, there was much laughter and frolicking about - needless to say, tons of flashing of cameras going too! haha
Favorite Dish: I have had a few meals here as I go here with colleagues (I work just around the corner). I particularly like the aubergine starters and their monkfish main, with their genuine homemade ice cream as a dessert.
Their pastas and pizzas are very good too - something I love is the HUGE plates they are served in.. which immediately makes you think you have a small meal, when in actual fact there is plenty of food!
Update, April 2006 - This restaurant has now closed :( Another good one down the road closed too. At least we got to have our meeting there!
Il Pomodorino is the restaurant where we had our London 2005 VT Meet. And I must say, it exceeded my expectations. There were a lot of us, over eighty at last count I believe, yet the service and quality of food didn’t fall below bar. The interior of the restaurant is casual and simple, yet modern. There is both a bar area and a restaurant area and one can be in the bar area without being in the restaurant area. The food is all Italian and cooked in a kitchen that is able to be viewed from the dining area. For the quality and location of the restaurant I would say that the prices are average. I ordered a pizza margherita, which I debated on since there were many other fine menu selections, but I was really hungry and wanted to just go to my old standby. It was impressively large and I couldn’t finish it alone. Other people around me had veal and fish. Everyone enjoyed their food. I was amazed at the size of the soup bowls at one point and we jokingly referred to them as “mixing bowls.” Likewise, when the dessert arrived it was served in a huge portion. I got the biggest tiramisu I have ever seen and I have ordered quite a bit of tiramisu in my time. It was homemade and not too soggy, as some restaurants can overkill. The only complaint I would have is that it might have been a little softer than I prefer. The service was great for us to have such a large number of people.
On Saturday 21 January 2006, 88.5 Virtual Tourist members and friends ate a hearty meal (and took 88.5 million digital photos) at this excellent Italian restaurant. This could equally be a 'Warnings & Dangers' tip, not everyone wants to meet 87.5 VT members in one evening!!
However, in return for excellent service, I think the restaurant expects 88.5 glowing reports on VirtualTourist.com ;-)
I have no problem saying the food was splendid, beautifully presented on the plates. And perfectly cooked. And served promptly and efficiently. Which is not bad 88.5 times over. And amazing prices considering this is in the very heart of London, 100m from Piccadilly Circus. I ate off the set 3-course menu, which came to 20 GBP. Starters was a tasty aubergine dish, main course was monkfish on a bed of lentils, dessert was a large bowl of creamy tiramisu.
Well done to VT member Jenniflower for finding this place!!
NB I have listed this tip under the 'Photo Safari' category. Despite the fact I was sitting opposite bradbrown I am far too PC to list it under 'Birdwatching' ;-)
Lovely new Italian restaurant in Lower Regent Street which was the chosen venue for the London VT meeting on 21st Jan 06. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. I had the canneloni, feta cheese and spinach for starter followed by a "white" pizza of mozzarella and mushrooms with a tiramisu for pudding which came to £17. Thanks to Jenniflower for choosing such a great place - it was perfect for over 100 VTers to have a fabulous get together!
The official Saturday night VT Dinner Meeting was held at POMODORINO. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time there.
Hans had a pizza with ham strips which he said was pretty good.