Woot woot! Have you caught World Cup fever?
I feel rather sorry for the England team at the moment, after the poor slippery-handed goalkeeper conceded THAT goal. Still early days though, and apparently the winning team in '66 also drew in their debut match. Come on England!
Whilst down in Clapham for England's first match, we decided to honour Fabio Cappello in a visit to Donna Margherita, an authentic Napoletan pizzeria which received a 5 star rating from Time Out. Having been to Naples in April, I felt empowered by my experience and more qualified to pass judgement. Me, opinionated? Nooooo.
About fifteen minutes walk from Clapham Junction station, it's not on the main strip where most restaurants are in the area. Rustic and welcoming, there are some slightly cheesy touches, such as a food display covered in pizza bases that make you chuckle. Waiters are smiley, welcoming and attentive. The menu is typically Italian, starting with Antipasti, Pasta, Meat, Fish leading into the pizzas.
Pizza Gay: Yes you heard it right. There's also a Pizza Lesbica. Not entirely sure why, is it to promote PC-ness? Diversity? It's a diverse pizza alright. It's actually one pizza with 2 "flavours". One half was almost a plain margherita with anchovies, the other was scattered with rocket, cherry tomatoes, parma ham and giant parmesan shavings. Lush and fragrant from the basil leaves dotted around, these signature Italian tastes are always comforting.
Pizza Prosciutto e Funghi: Ham and Mushrooms to you and me. I was confused on this one, isn't prosciutto thin slivers of ham? We got a kinda english ham here, but maybe that's what it was meant to be. I would have preferred for both bases to be more cracker-like and smoky.
Handmade Seafood Pasta: now this was the business. Nothing really beats seafood juices from prawns, mussels, squid and clams mixing into garlic and tomatoes. This pasta was reminiscent of Puglia, heavier and irregular but nicely al dente. Excellent flavours and possibly one of the better pastas I've tried in London.
Whilst the pasta dish was very enjoyable, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the pizzas and the hype it had been given. Our meal was a bit like the England team, the raw ingredients, the spirit, the flashes of inspiration. It just needs the extra umph to drive those goals firmly and precisely home. But because we see that innate potential we're not wiping it off the list just yet. 2 bottles of wine, 2 pizzas, 1 pasta and a salad was a very doable £25 per head.