Legendary King’s Road hotspot Pucci Pizza – a hangout of Rod Stewart and Bryan Ferry in its 1980s heyday – has been re-booted for the 21st-century in W1. Mayfair is the new Chelsea according to Rufus Albanese, owner of the new incarnation and heir to the original, and he’s followed the money here to Maddox Street, where in a nod to the area’s high-spending locals you’ll find Lebanese-style sharing plates alongside crisp-based pizzas. It’s an odd combination and the flavours don’t quite harmonise, but if you don’t mix and match pizza with mezze, you’ll eat well here.
We preferred a light Maddox pizza, topped with tomato, a sprinkling of mozzarella di bufala, bresaola, rocket and plenty of parmesan shavings, to truffle toppings richer than Pucci’s target market of well-heeled diners.
The beautifully presented Lebanese dishes, though, were the highlight of our meal, transforming the table into a colourful paradise of speckled ceramic vessels. A wedge of delica pumpkin was a sweet delight, drizzled with honey, toasted pomegranates and London Fettle feta. Pair this with the tangy house-made labneh, a Middle Eastern yoghurt jazzed up with caraway, beetroot and pistachio, which can also be used as a creamy dip for the brioche-like barbari bread. The succulent lamb chops, though eye-wateringly expensive at £26, were a triumph, grilled to perfection on a bed of tzatziki and harissa.
Should you have room, divvy up a generous portion of sharing-style Pavlova, topped with prosecco-soaked peaches and with a sharp lemon verbena filling. A largely Italian wine list includes a delicate Piedmont white and a velvety Primitivo number that paired nicely with our dishes.
Apart from the mash-up of pizza and mezze, there’s nothing new on offer at Pucci, but exposed brick walls and velvet banquettes add to the mood of casual luxe, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer plenty of posing opportunities.
Image credit: Leef Photography