Pizza Express Autumn Menu
When I was invited to try the new Autumn Menu from Pizza Express, I jumped at the chance. I love Italian food, and have always enjoyed a pizza at Pizza Express. With it being half term, I took the girls with me to our closest Pizza Express restaurant at Gloucester Quays. I am always a little skeptical about eating out when it is just myself and the girls, but felt at ease as we walked through the door and were welcomed in by one of the members of staff. She immediately noticed Freyja’s “Frozen” jacket and started chatting to both of them about their favourite characters from the film as she showed us to our seats. She gave them colouring pencils and activity sheet at the table and the pair of them were already relaxed and happy.
The girls were so preoccupied by their colouring that it took some time to try and coax out from them what they were going to eat from the Piccolo menu. Emily decided on the pasta Bolognese and Freyja chose a Pollo pizza. I was a little concerned as she never chooses anything other than Margherita whenever she has pizza. But not only did she eat the lot, she declared it to be “the best pizza ever”. Whilst we were considering what to eat, I enjoyed a glass of Sicilian Lemonade.
I couldn’t wait to try the new autumn menu. The Risotto Fresco jumped out at me from the starters menu. This was a risotto with oak-roasted, peppered salmon fillet. The creamy rice was complemented by fresh tomato and basil. The oak-roasted salmon was delicious and it was nice to see generous chunks of it throughout the risotto. A squeeze of the wedge of lemon over it really finished it off. It was the perfect autumnal starter. Rich, yet fresh and very decadent.
I was a little torn about what to have for my main course. I ALWAYS have pizza at Pizza Express as it is so good. The pizza on the new Autumn menu is a choice of the Rustichella Romana – with pancetta, mozzarella and tomato finished with rocket, shaved Gran Milano cheese, roasted tomatoes and Caesar dressing, or the Basilicata Romana with lamb, mint and chilli meatballs and red onion, mozzarella and garlic oil on a capia pepper and tomato base, finished with rocket, shaved Gran Milano cheese and basil pesto. I decided to try the Another PizzaExpress classic which customers have demanded be returned to our menus, this vegetarian Al Forno Cannelloni. This is a vegetarian dish composed of pasta filled with spinach and ricotta, baked with passata, béchamel, mozzarella, garlic oil and Gran Milano cheese. I was so glad I had opted for this. It was delicious! Again, the creamy sauce felt very comforting and perfect for a chilly autumnal day.
I did feel satiated by both my starter and main course, but as we were in no rush and the girls were still enjoying colouring, we were able to relax and think about ordering desserts. I had obviously promised the girls ice cream if they behaved themselves, and the bribery (and Pizza Express activity sheet) had worked. They both had ice cream and bambinocino which didn’t last very long.
I was hoping to have the chocolate fondant, again from the new autumn menu. This promised to be a rich and intense warm chocolate cake with a soft melting centre, served with vanilla gelato, topped with fresh mint and icing sugar. However, due to its unsurprising popularity, it was unavailable, so instead I had Salted Caramel Profiteroles and a Latte. The profiteroles are from the Dolcetti menu which are smaller desserts (quite good when you have indulged in a starter and main previously). There were three profiteroles, each with a caramel coating and filled with salted caramel cream. They were yummy, and actually alongside the latte, there didn’t need to be any more than three. It was a lovely was to just finish off the meal, and the great thing about Pizza Express lattes is that although they are milky, they still have a strong coffee flavour.
The whole meal was absolutely fantastic. The staff at the Gloucester Quays restaurant were friendly and attentive, without making us feel rushed into making our choices. The experience was relaxed and really enjoyable, and I don’t often describe meals out (especially three-course ones!) when it is just myself and the girls as such. The girls have already been asking when we will be going back, so I don’t think it will be long before our next visit – and besides – I still need to try that chocolate fondant!
Disclaimer: We were invited to try the new Autumn Menu at Pizza Express free of charge in exchange for an honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own, and we would thoroughly recommend the food and experience at Pizza Express.