London might be awash with delectable Italian dining, but with the opening of Big Mamma’s first UK restaurant, it manages to excite all the same.
Popular Parisian chain of restaurants Big Mamma has opened its doors in Shoreditch, bringing its the contemporary take on Italian classics that it has built its name on. Named Gloria, this 70s Capri-inspired trattoria aims to bring a “little corner of Italy” to London for the first time.
While there is an air of authenticity about the menu at Gloria – just as the Italians would have it – there’s also refreshing take on many of the most recognisable Bel Paese classics. Most notable is the 10-level lasagna or the girella, coiled ravioli stuffed with rabbit ragout and polenta.
There’s a sense of fun that runs throughout the menu, from a crema bruciata that is flambéed to the humorous naming of some of its dishes. The Eton Musk meringue dessert tickles, for example, though the almost explicit Filippo’s Big Balls – the meatball main dish – is perhaps the menu item that best depicts the attitude of the chef it is named after.
And of course there’s the pizza, too, all of which is baked inside the large Marana oven to give them that oh-so-Italian crispy yet chewy pizza dough.
All this will take place in a two-floor space on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, London, which will be hard to spot with the canopy of greenery that covers the front of the building. Great attention has been put into the look of the interior, too, with Gloria’s 70s Capri influence rife throughout. This means suede-covered seats, thick drapery and a beautifully garish patterned carpet. Big Mamma has gone all out in recreating a look and has found that balance perfectly.
Since Trattoria Gloria will be hosting guests for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a late-night pizza and cocktail menu on the weekends, there are a variety of spaces each distinctly designed yet in keeping with the theme. Marbled counters at the bar or ornate plates hanging above wood panelling all create a distinct look that highlights a real sense of flair about the place.
And since there’s a bar, too, the focus on inventive mixology matches that of the food. The Colada Me Later cocktail is set alight to serve a spin on the classic colada. There’s also a Negroni that comes with truffle foam on top – a truly original and delicious idea. This alongside a stock of some of the best wines from Piemonte means you won’t need to worry when it comes to choice of high-quality drinks.
Special mention should also go to the ice cream, in part because there’s always room for ice cream but primarily because the on-site gelato chef, who comes from Bologna, makes the stuff fresh daily, flavoured with pistachio or nocciola del Piemonte.
Trattoria Gloria is open from 8am until 11pm weekdays, with a later 9am start until 1am Friday and Saturday.
Trattoria Gloria, 54-56 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3QR
Words by Adam Barnes