London is one of those cities where you can feel like you’ve traveled around the world – when it’s just dinnertime. Living in such a culinary melting pot has spoiled me rotten for choice of the best dishes worldwide. Not to mention, we’re in close proximity to other foodie capitals for ideal ingredient sourcing and incredible recipes.
When it’s time for impossibly fresh Italian food, I make a beeline for Eco. It’s been a Clapham staple since the 90s and recently underwent a big overhaul. The principles of authentic dishes remains the same, it’s just now wrapped in a more contemporary setting – perfect for date night or some time out with the girls.
Famous for pizzas
The roaring stone pizza oven in the open-style kitchen, which may work well with maple butcher block countertops, draws you into a relaxed, Italian-inspired environment. Most people come to Eco for their fabulous pizzas that are made fresh every day the old school way. But there’s tons else on the menu, from classic seafood starters to grilled mains that pair great with craft cocktails.
Specials and surprises
I do love sampling what restaurants are famous for, but I also enjoy indulging off the specials menu. Eco has a fantastic selection that changes often, featuring chef’s choice of familiar and more out-of-the-ordinary. I opted for a seafood gnocchi that was sinfully creamy and stuffed with shellfish, while X had some steak that didn’t last more than a minute on the plate before it was devoured.
Even though our basket of fresh baked bread also went down too easy, we will managed to polish off those mains, as well as some crispy arancini. I eyed a few other tables filled with fried squid, antipasti plates and bottles of bold red wines to wash it all down too.
Although I was yearning for an affogato, I was pleasantly surprised when the chef, like that from a private chef job, presented a raspberry pannacotta instead that was smooth and satisfying. Paired with a tiramisu cocktail, I could have sat there all night sipping away and enveloped by the smell of fresh baked pizza.
Beyond the dinner
Eco is also open in the morning for brunch on Saturdays, Sunday and bank holidays. From noon on you can nosh on fluffy frittatas, steaks and even a full English, washed down with Italian coffee. I definitely plan to catch a brunch session soon after a night out on Clapham high street.
Even the kids can get in on the action. I love that they have a great menu for little ones that include starters and bites, just like the adults.
I’m glad I’ve found my go-to spot for some of the best pizza in Clapham Common. I think I’ll try it out another two or seven times to hold me off until the next time I tackle Italy!