The latest opening from hospitality juggernaut Soho House replaces its defunct Soho Kitchen & Bar on Old Compton Street. The Pizza Bar has been billed as a ‘lite’ version of high-end international Italian group Cecconi’s, but first impressions aren’t great: the brand’s dilution is evident from the shabby decor, the absence of natural light and the less-than-sharp service. It all seems a bit Pizza Express.
Luckily, Cecconi’s manages to turn things around with a reliably strong menu of Italian classics. Get started with cicchetti, including a selection of crudités served with a fresh, herby basil-and-pesto dip, before moving on to one of the sizeable pizzas. These beauties are characterised by soft, slightly chewy dough topped with the likes of indulgent smoked burrata, fresh rocket and juicy cherry tomatoes. Desserts stick to the standards too, encompassing a range of gelati as well as richer options of affogato and tiramisu. To drink, Negronis and Aperol Spritzes are on tap.
Although you won’t find Cecconi’s trademark elegance here, the group’s well-executed Italian dishes are present and correct – and the front terrace is perfect for a spot of Soho people watching.