Buongiorno E Buonasera Proves That Not All Pizzas Are Made Equal
Despite the fact that it's what we're here for, we almost walk straight past Buongiorno e Buonasera, so well has it settled into its new Baker Street home, its first London opening following two branches in Oxford.
The London pizza market is a heavily saturated one, and it's brave of a newcomer to attempt to take it on. But B&B's doing things differently. The pizzas here are Roman-style bases, rather than the Neopolitan-style that most London pizzerias serve up, the difference being the lightness of the Roman base compared to its doughy southern cousin. We were dubious as to how discernible the difference would be — a pizza's a pizza, right? — but it's not just talk.
Pizzas sit in a cabinet on the counter, laden with toppings and waiting to be fired up in those ovens, tempting us as soon as we walk in. The menu is a lengthy one, with more than 20 different pizza choices, heavy on tempting toppings such as buffala mozzarella, spicy salami, Italian sausage and artichoke cream. For the sweet-toothed, there's even a Nutella one.
All pizzas are available whole or by the half (fear not if you go whole and can't finish it — the staff are more than happy to put it in a takeaway box for you to take with you), and mixing and matching extra toppings is not only allowed, it's encouraged.
Gluten-free diners are catered for, with bases cooked in a completely separate oven from the regular pizzas. It's slightly crispier than the regular bases, but never to the point of brittleness or crunchiness. Four veggie and four vegan options sit on the menu too — all diners are covered here.
We begin our meal with the bruschetta aglio e olio (garlic bread, basically) and are instantly impressed by the freshness of what we're served, the glistening oil clearly brushed on mere moments before it reaches our table. A portion to share between two would have been adequate, but we've opted for one each, rendering us slightly alarmed when our pizzas reach our table.
The buffala is bowing under the weight of all that rocket and cheese — delicious, creamy, moreish cheese — while the custom margherita with tuna and onion (we try not to judge our friends' life choices, we really do...) is equally well-endowed. The dough is, exactly as promised, lighter than your average, the bright colours of the ingredients offering further testament to their freshness. In short, try a pizza here and you'll soon understand why Italians scoff at most British imitations.
With wooden furniture, and deli-style cupboards on the wall, the restaurant has a farmhouse feel, and yet the way groups of people drop in and out all evening, chatting to the chef and the owner, throws out a real Metropolitan vibe — we could quite easily be in a bustling late-night bistro down a side street in Rome.
As for the name? Buongiorno e Buonasera translates as 'Good day and good evening', and the place is open all day. We've got it on good authority that the coffee's excellent (the pastries too look tempting, but are displayed uncovered on the counter, something we've always found off-putting). Either way, we'll be back for one of those Nutella pizzas just as soon as we've polished off our leftovers.
Buongiorno e Buonasera, 58 Baker Street, W1U 7DD
Last Updated 13 April 2018