The world’s oldest pizzeria is getting ready to launch its first UK spot.
Founded in 1870 in Naples, the L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is now in its fifth generation of family owners. It has featured in the book and film “Eat, Pray, Love,” and has been the Neapolitan restaurant of choice for Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Diego Maradona and Nico Rosberg.
The next step is expansion, and the next venue is Stoke Newington, London. “We looked at a few places – Covent Garden, Putney, Camden, but I fell in love with Church Street. Simple,” said Serena Sarnatoro, manager of the new restaurant.
At the restaurant there will be two varieties of pizza, the margherita and the marinara. There will be Peroni on draught and a selection of Italian wine. For dessert, Da Michele isare working with the celebrity chef Salvatore de Riso, presenter of the Italian ‘Ready Steady Cook,’ who is compiling a selection of treats from the Amalfi coast.
The best part is the price. “No, the best part is the pizza!” Ms Sarnatoro dives in, laughing. “But the price is good too! We’re looking at £7 / £8.”
With brickwork arranged like a precarious Jenga tower, a sinking second floor ceiling and a maze of wirework there is clearly still work to be done. Ms Sarnatoro is confident of replicating the Neapolitan original, with marble tables, the same high backed chairs and copper furnishings. Then the star of the show: the two and a half ton wood fired oven. “It was a nightmare to get into the building!”
So when can we expect to get a slice of the action? “I can’t set a date for launch, but I am aiming for December. Definitely before Christmas.”