Pizzeria finds the sweet spot
Neighbourhood restaurant has learned to refine its offer during the lockdowns
20 August, 2021 — By Tom Moggach
Sweet Thursday’s new pizzette: flatbreads with off-piste toppings
JOHN Steinbeck wrote a book called Sweet Thursday – a day dangling between Lousy Wednesday and Waiting Friday.
But it seems a slightly odd choice for a pizzeria in De Beauvoir, a leafy enclave on the fringes of Islington.
This is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant that makes you growl with envy at the lucked-out locals.
The menu is an enticing mix of Neapolitan pizzas, pastas and other titbits, plus a new line of creative wood-fired pizzette from a guest chef called Nuno Mendez who lives nearby.
The long dining room is a clever mix of the retro and modern. Tables are orange and yellow – 1950s diner-style – each appointed with an upcycled tomato tin with your very own pizza cutter and bottle of chilli oil.
Vintage maps of Italy and antique coffee machines hang on the walls; the pale green pizza oven flickers at the far end.
At weekends, the friendly staff bring out a play mat for children – so they can get busy with the Duplo while their worn-out parents flick through the papers.
This is a business that has learned to refine its offer during the lockdowns. They do delivery, of course, but you can also pick up extra items to take away, such as a huge range of Italian vino from their Wine Shop and a sourdough loaf from the Mini Deli.
We pitched up for a quick supper, grabbing a table outside. This stretch of Southgate Road, not far from Hackney, is now drenched with top quality food and drink.
There’s De Beauvoir Wholefoods a few doors up, which stocks at least five brands of artisan ice cream.
Opposite you’ll find De Beauvoir Deli, a vendor of on-trend ingredients such as micro herbs grown in a state-of-the-art underground farm not far from Clapham Common.
The pizza menu at Sweet Thursday, priced £8.50 to £13, blends the classics with more quirky concoctions.
There’s a Porchetta with a roasted fennel base, sliced pork belly, smoked mozzarella and lemon oil.
The monthly special has a fishy twist: a yellow passata base with Devon crab, fried capers, trout roe and Amalfi lemon.
Other mains include short ribs, risotto, and a tuna tartare ravioli with Tropea onion, confit cherry tomatoes, clams and seasonal samphire.
I zeroed in on the new pizzette: flatbreads with off-piste toppings such as cauliflower and sweet-and-sour caponata or baked and raw mushrooms with burrata cheese.
The base of mine was crisp and nicely blistered. I folded a slice around a filling of tender beef mixed with the glistening yolk of a Cacklebean egg, pickled red onions, chilli and a scattering of pine nuts.
The pudding list is short and sweet. The Nutella gnocchi looked tempting, but I opted for a scoop of Ferrero Roche ice cream in a toasted brioche bun – a perfectly addictive combination.
I wouldn’t travel miles to eat at Sweet Thursday. But if you’re nearby it definitely hits the spot – any day of the week.
95 Southgate Rd, N1
020 7226 1727