Friday, August 1, 2008

Il Pagliaccio, Fulham

Il Pagliaccio, or Paggs to those in the know, is a firm locals' favourite.  We booked on Saturday for two people to eat the same day which wasn't a problem and when we arrived we were seated outside under the canopy, as requested.  The outside area is large - probably 15 pavement side tables, adorned with bunting, overlooked by a naked statue of a man - his modesty preserved with a napkin.

The service is a special mix of over-friendly waiters and attention to detail.  Shy and retiring types should probably steer clear as they will fuss over you and your food, complimenting you and helping you with your chair and napkin.  If you are celebrating a birthday a gaggle of waiters will serenade you with happy birthday, brandishing a huge cucumber for girls, fashioned into a shape (you can imagine what) surrounded by two tomatoes and topped with whipped cream, which the 'lucky' recipient must take a bite of.  For men, a similar situation but with melons and glace cherries...

But I digress.  Claire and I began with garlic bread and bruschetta to share, with a lovely bottle of red.  It is beautiful bread - homemade - and the toppings are fresh.

For main course we both go for pizza.  You don't come to a restaurant like this for haute cuisine, you come for good Italian food, prepared by Italians.  I love the pizza, cooked in a big open pizza oven in the middle of the restaurant.  A margherita with mushrooms went down very well with my friend, and my choice - served with chicken and mozzarella was really very good.  Thin bases with lots of topping - so tasty.

We know we will be back, we've been a million times before - but book, this place is always heaving.

Two courses and half a bottle of wine: £23 per head

Value: 7/10

Service: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Food: 7/10

SCORE: 30/40

Il Pagliaccio, 182-184 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2UF.  Tel: 020 73715253.

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