We’re besotted by Gloria from the second we set sight on her sun-soaked front, framed by awnings taking a ruffled stand against the industrial beat of surrounding Shoreditch. The exuberantly over-the-top trattoria is the very epitome of extra, setting the worlds instantly to rights with her jaunty zest for life…
By way of background – Gloria is part of the Big Mamma family which helms some of the hippest Italian restaurants in Paris. The enthused (unmistakably-Italian) staff at their new Shoreditch stalwart certainly have that “je ne sais quoi” characteristic of the indomitably-cool France-based restaurant group too!
That maximalism is in & minimalism out, manifests in the glorious gallimaufry of details embellishing Gloria’s two dining rooms.
Exotic Spritz’ and Negronis spiked with the scent of truffles positively fly out of the marble-drenched bar attached to the ground floor dining area, the cheeriest of spaces channeling 1970’s Capri. Expect vibrant Italian ceramics a-plenty here, peppered with pastel pinstripe upholstery and a proliferation of flora and fauna spilling out from the terracotta pots strewn everywhere!
As for the menu, well it’s just as imaginatively O.T.T with roguish hints of humour shining through in dishes bearing titles such as “YouPorn” pizza. Gloria’s more-is-more approach also renders the likes of a ten-layered lasagna and super-sized portions for sharing. Cacio e Pepe (that ancient Roman dish turned Marilyn Monroe of modern-day Italian eateries) is prepared in a wheel of pecorino cheese, but on this occasion we plump for Gloria’s Pasta al Tartufo – homemade ribbons of mafalda pasta swathed with mascarpone, button mushrooms and heaps of black Molise truffles.
The Neapolitan pizzas are quite something too. Our’s arrives blanketed by a beautiful assembly of burrata, mozzarella, fior di latte, arugula pesto, almond and candied datterino tomatoes. What follows is an explosion of colours, flavours and textures that are sweet, salty, smoky, indelibly creamy – yet a touch nutty – all at once, braced by an immaculately-chewy cornicone.
Unsurprisingly, desserts don’t cut corners either. The aptly-titled Incomparable Lemon Pie is fabled for its 5’9-inch meringue layer; while the Profiterole Napoletana is another maximalist masterpiece. The titanic puff pastry is served sandwiching a superlatively-silky pile of vanilla gelato, with a bowl (!) of unapologetically-decadent dark chocolate poured on top. It’s one of the only desserts to have ever defeated us.
With colourful touches to usher in the summer and charismatic character in spirited spades, one can’t help but be consumed by a reassuring feeling that all is well with the world here at Gloria. I suppose we now know where to look, the next time we’re searching for a slice of La Dolce Vita in London!
54-56 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3QR | https://www.bigmammagroup.com/fr/trattorias/gloria
For more eats in London, do have a browse here.