Life has taken me to London more in the last five months than over the last five years. No matter where I am, I’m always in search of good Italian food and an energetic atmosphere. And, I happened to find the greatest combination of both tucked away in a basement on a side street just a few short blocks from Harrods’s department store. The restaurant is called Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro. And it is the best pizza party in London!
Established in 1978, Ciro’s has developed a bit of a cult following over the last forty years. Celebrities and locals alike flock to this late night Italian restaurant that boasts an extensive menu of pizza, pasta, and libations. But the real draw is Ciro’s nightly entertainment. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling with pictures of celebrities arm in arm with the restaurant’s owner who is a bit of a self-styled celebrity himself.
If you have ever had the pleasure to dine at The Rainbow on LA’s Sunset Strip, then you could see that Ciro’s is basically the British easy listening version of the famed Hollywood Rock n Roll staple. I have personally been to Ciro’s three different times and saw three different acts. The restaurant offers musical entertainment seven days a week.
The Celebrity Favorite Menu
My maiden voyage to Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro was on a cold Tuesday night in November. I came in search of pasta and stayed for the musings of an Elvis impersonator. The menu is extensive, boasting roughly 15 pages of food and drinks.
TAKEAWAY: Many items on the menu are referenced as a certain celebrity’s favorite dish. Just in case you were wondering, Seafood Pizza is apparently Sean Connery’s favorite, while Al Pacino’s preference is something called the Padrino Pizza topped with chicken, broccoli, and jalapeños.
Believe it or not, there is actually a Capri Pizza on the menu. While it shares my name, this pizza topped with fresh mozzarella and rocket leaves is not my dish of choice at Ciro’s. It is, however, listed as Goldie Hawn’s favorite.
The Live Entertainment
On Elvis night, I passed on the Capri Pizza and instead went with the spinach and cheese ravioli, which was tasty and filling. While we ate, “Jumpsuit Elvis” (as I like to call him) regaled the crowd with both early and late career Presley tunes. He circulated through the well-hydrated crowd with a microphone encouraging impromptu karaoke from the imbibing guests. I took the bait even though I wasn’t sure of the song’s lyrics. But, that’s all part of the fun.
My next visit was on a Saturday night in January. This time, we listened to a 1980’s & 90’s cover band that really put the place in a party mood. Many diners were celebrating birthdays or bachelorette parties. And for special occasions, Pizza Pomodoro really tries to take it to 11. Sparklers adorned cakes and trays of shots while the band would sing happy birthday or bring up a bride-to-be to sing her favorite dance tune. No sparklers for me, but I did enjoy my eggplant Parmesan and the band’s endless Simply Red covers.
Just a few weeks ago, I returned to Ciro’s and started to feel like I was becoming quite the regular. Apparently, Mondays are for Motown. Even though it was a weekday, Pizza Pomodoro buzzed with the energy of a weekend night. Shots and sparklers were still flowing; music was playing, and everyone was eating a quality meal. I had the Pollo al Funghi, aka chicken in a mushroom sauce and the house white wine. I think Ciro should rename this dish Capri’s Favorite! So, if you are ever in London and looking for pizza or pasta with a side of party, then dance right into Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro. I’m sure I will be back again soon to this pizza party in London!