Franco Manca – Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street, London

I am back from Italy and all carb-ed out. I will be writing about my adventures and food finds for sure though – don’t you worry!

Another Italian restaurant post to stick to the current Italian theme – Franco Manco’s – one of my favourite pizza places in the world. Number one pizza I have had would have to be Gusta Pizza in Florence, Italy and Franco Manco rates second on my list.

They have six pizzas on their menu and they do them very very very well!!! I love a simple menu where everything on there is done perfectly!

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Their chewy sourdough bases are absolutely what makes this pizza a hit! I find the base of a pizza just as important as the fresh toppings that are added to it.

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They started off as a small little pizza bar in Brixton Market and now have a few spots around London. Definitely worth a try if you like a good pizza.

http://www.francomanca.co.uk/

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Pizzeria Papagone – Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London

papagonesWe had been meaning to try Pizzeria Pappagone for quite some time, but finally one Friday night, it was THE night. Just up from Finsbury Park station, on Stroud Green Road, this pizzeria always has a queue of people. We were lucky and got a table after only waiting for 5 minutes.

It is definitely a lively restaurant and all the waiters shouting things in Italian to one another gives it a very authentic feel to it.

The menu is ridiculously long, but this means that there is something to everyone’s taste.
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20150807_201549Jack had the PIZZA CAMPAGNOLA £8.40 which is a pizza covered in spicy salami, olives and artichokes and I had the LINGUINE AI FRUTTI DI MARE £9.90 which is a linguine with a tomato, garlic and white wine based sauce with seafood.

The pizza is similar to the pizza in italy, with its doughy, chewy bread and wood fired oven baked.

The pasta was stunning – al dente – and rich with flavours.

They were not mean, stingy portions. They were definitely for an Italian with an appetite. Gorgeous food, lively atmosphere, and very well priced.
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http://www.pizzeriapappagone.co.uk/

Cafe La Divina – Upper Street, London

IMG-20150811-WA0004After a long day at work followed by a late gym session, Jack and I decided on a meal out near our gym in Angel. La Divina on Upper Street does a 2 for 1 on the Taste Card for main meals, so we popped in there for our dinner.

It’s a quirky little restaurant with lots of photos of people eating pasta all over the walls and other random bits on the walls like a car and posters of old Italian films and random trinkets hanging on the ceiling. It has an intimate and comfortable feel to it.IMG-20150811-WA0006IMG-20150811-WA0009

I ordered a tomato based seafood risotto which was so fragrant, the seafood tasted so fresh and the rice was perfectly al dente. I definitely recommend this dish here.IMG-20150811-WA0012Jack had the creamy salmon and asparagus risotto which was more delicate in flavour than the seafood risotto but still lovely.

I had a fresh mint tea and Jack had a soft drink, as you need to order a drink each to be able to use the Taste Card discount.IMG-20150811-WA0010

£15 for 2 mains and 2 drinks using the Taste Card.

http://ladivina.co.uk/

Zaza – Bushey

Zaza is a very lively restaurant with a great crowd in a very characterful cottage in the quiet town of Bushey (even at 9pm on a Friday night). Our waiter was great and talked us through the menu. It was difficult choosing what to order because everything looked so good. We ordered some wine and olives as we made our decisions.

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I ordered the Capesante (£8.90), which is pan seared scallops with rocket, vine tomatoes and prosciutto. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the flavours of the salad with the sharpness if the rocket, the sweetness of the tomatoes and the smokiness of the prosciutto all complimented them very well.

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For the main I had the Branzino (£15.90) – Pan fried fillet of sea bass in a lemon butter sauce on sautéed spinach, green beans & spring onions and a herb mash on the side. The fish was delicate and melted in my mouth and the vegetables were cooked perfected – the beans still with a bit of crunch to them.

We stayed until we were one of the last customers as we got lost in time chatting away. The waiters were very friendly and didn’t push us to leave but instead gave us a refreshing (but VERY strong) lemoncello to finish off our lovely evening.

I definitely recommend if you are in the area and looking for a good Italian.

http://www.zaza.co.uk/

Pizza East – Shoreditch, London

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We went to Pizza East in Shoreditch for some freshly made pizza. It is one of my favourite pizza places in London. The atmosphere is buzzing, on one side there are large wood fire ovens where the chefs are cooking away, and on the other side there are breads, meats and cheeses being sliced. Its a large space and everything is made right in front of you.

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We had some calamari to start. Freshly battered and fried so that it was crisp on the outside with some tartar sauce on the side.

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I am a margherita pizza kind of girl. Some people might find it plain, but I think that it is the best way to enjoy a good pizza, without any toppings to distract from the taste of a good pizza base, home-made tomato sauce, and fresh buffalo mozzarella.

Pizza East have a good selection of pizzas with interesting toppings and if you are a topping kind of person, I would recommend trying the spicy sausage.

Great pizzas and great atmosphere!

http://www.pizzaeast.com/

approximately £10 per pizza