Here at Mondomulia, we’ve been fans of Elliot brothers’ Pizza Pilgrims from their early days of making pizza in a Piaggio Ape food truck in Berwick Street Market and of the first Pizza Pilgrims restaurant in Dean Street, Soho. Their latest opening is a one-of-a-kind sustainable pizzeria in Selfridges. Guest writer Adrienne Fung writes about it here.
The other weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the newly opened Pizza Pilgrims at Selfridges. Unlike their other locations, this Pizza Pilgrims is 100% sustainability focused and will be used as a hub for innovation to develop new techniques, ingredients and processes to be implemented at other locations. The restaurant and menu were inspired by inspired by Selfridges’ Project Earth initiative.
As part of Pizza Pilgrims’ goal of creating more sustainable pizzerias of the future, you’ll find an in-house hydroponic basil, regenerative wheat and organic wines on offer.
The materials and furniture in this location are more sustainability focused too. Take for example all their seating upholstered in Pinatex, a plant based alternative to leather made from pineapples. What a great idea which will hopefully inspire other pizzerias and restaurants around town!
Like their other locations, the vibe at their new 108-cover restaurant is very much fast-casual with a hint of sophistication. The modern rustic décor mixed with playful wall art depicting colourful scenes from Italian cities make for the perfect backdrop. The highlights of the space include the hydroponic basil entryway and open kitchen with great views of the pizza oven in action.
When it comes to the menu, you’ll find all the classics you know and love from Pizza Pilgrims, but as an added bonus they have a handful of Selfridges exclusive pizzas you won’t find in other pizzerias.
To start, we tried the Crispy Fried Potato Gnocchi served with red pepper tapenade and Kale Caesar Salad. (Fun fact: they use a seasonal, organic kale which has a lower water and carbon footprint. You’ll find educational tidbits scattered around the menu with an entire backpage teaching patrons about their many sustainable endeavors.) Not only is everything sustainable, but the food tastes great too. The fried gnocchi were served hot and al dente. The perfect snack as you wait for your pizza to arrive. We loved the red pepper tapenade that was served alongside – fresh, peppery and creamy.
The kale salad was a nice accompaniment to the gnocchi, offering a lighter bite to the meal. What would have made this even better was if the kale was more finely chopped, allowing the homemade Caesar dressing to evenly coat each bite.
Onto the pizzas… we would have been remiss to not try the ones exclusive to Selfridges. The one that immediately caught my eye was the Smoked Salmon Pizza with Everything Bagel Seed Crust topped with smoked salmon, whipped mascarpone, sliced red onions, capers and fresh dill. Pizza purists may have a panic over just reading the description alone, but as a transplant from New York City there’s nothing I miss more than an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese. This was basically that in pizza form so how could it not be great combining two delicious culinary inventions? While some will remain skeptical, I urge you to have an open mind because this pizza was our favourite plate on the table that day. All the ingredients meld so harmoniously together. What elevates this pizza is the addition of the everything bagel seasoning around the crust. Typically made of poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, garlic, onion flakes, and flaked sea salt, this highly addictive seasoning blend adds a crunchy, savoury kick to any dish. The smoked salmon was also top notch. Procured from H. Forman & Son, a local salmon smokery in London, the thin slices of salmon were fresh, buttery and not too salty. A more aggressively salted smoked salmon would have overpowered the pizza so this was a great choice of ingredients.
We also tried the Wagyu Beef Salami Pizza with mozzarella di bufala DOP and pickled poponcini peppers. Again, another great pizza but this one with more classic Italian flavours. We really liked the addition of pickled peppers which gave the pizza a new dimension. The acid and heat from the peppers worked well to balance out the salty, beefy salami and creamy mozzarella. As a recommendation from our server, we also ordered the pizza crust dippers. This is such a great idea especially for those that don’t normally eat their crust. You can order a combination of all three dips (pesto, ‘nduja, white truffle) to take your pizza crust to the next level.
We had a great lunch at the new Pizza Pilgrims in Selfridge’s and enjoyed learning about all the sustainability measures they are taking to build a better pizzeria for the future. With lots of great options on the menu, it’s well worth a visit just to try the Selfridge exclusive pizzas.
Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.