For all the fun of the fair with music, vibrant atmosphere and a taste tinglingly good menu we can see why people are going crazy for Circolo Popolare which brings the Sicilian coast sunshine to the heart of Fitzrovia.
Quick tip: It is worth mentioning the majority of tables at Circolo are walk-in only so you may have to wait during the busiest times of day, but when food is this good it’s worth it. If you’re planning a special meal though they do accommodate bookings of 8 or more so it’s always worth asking before you go.
Following the critically acclaimed debut London restaurant Gloria, Big Mamma has now opened Circolo Popolare. This glorious new dining space in London’s Fitrovia is a 9,000 sq ft Italian trattoria that accommodates 280 covers, 60 of which are on the outdoor terrace which is bursting with lush plant life.
One thing you cannot help but notice is the extravagantly vibrant decor. Designed in house, there’s over 20,000 bottles of spirits that line the walls. Whist the ceiling is adorned with thousands of festoon lights and plants creating and outdoor-in look and feel.
What really makes Circolo stand out of us is that the menu is 100% homemade, generous and gloriously over the top. The menu changes every month depending on arrivals and the seasons but the dishes right now range from small cicchetti to large platters for sharing or metre-long pizzas – you simply won’t know what to try first. However to help you decide, here are a few dishes that we think sound unmissable:
To start it has to be the creamy burrata with a pesto heart and pane carasau…
Circolo makes its own pasta in house every day and is said to be incredible but when it comes to a feast the pizzas are star of the show and would have to be our first choice of things to try as a main. You can order one for yourself or the famous 1 metre long version of it to share, just pick a pizza each and ask to double it up – one metre of pizza joy right there!
They have created something truly unforgettable in their dessert menu which includes hits like this insta-famous lemon meringue pie – see more here).
At Circolo, alongside a selection of homemade gelato (flavours include Bronte pistacchio, Amalfi lemon, Nocciole del Piemonte), then there’s the meravglioso (pictured above) which is a decadent combination of whipped cream, meringue and chocolate.
There’s also classics like Turamisu and churros and an “OTT 1L Sundae”, served with giant cookie chunks – yes please!
What is Big Mamma though? The Big Mamma group are specialists in authentic Italian food at its best. Founders Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux embarked on their dream six years ago to bring people good Italian food at an Italian price. Already famed in France, the restaurants are already well-known for their completely homemade and generous food, great service and a vibe of slightly crazy and charming young Italian team. To find out more about the Big Mamma group or Circolo Popolare visit the website here.
Images: Lateef Okunnu, Joann Pai, Jerôme Galland