“ 31/32 Maiden Lane / Covent Garden / London / WC2E 7JS / Email: email@example.com. „
My husband and I were in London recently and were wandering around Covent Garden trying to find somewhere nice to eat. There is an abundance of restaurants in the Covent Garden area, and for someone as indecisive as me, it's a nightmare to choose where we should eat!
We decided that we didn't fancy eating at a chain that we could eat in at home, and ended up on Maiden Lane. There were a number of places to eat on this road, but 'Fire & Stone' caught my eye. We went over and had a look at the menu, it looked good to us so we decided to go in.
We received a warm and friendly welcome from a lady who was on a desk at the front of the restaurant, greeting customers. It was a Saturday night and they were obviously busy, we explained that we hadn't booked and they were able to fit us in. We were taken downstairs to a large seating area and shown to our table. The restaurant was really nice, contemporary and open plan, we could see into the kitchen from our table, which is always a good sign, and it was great that they had made a feature out of the large, stone pizza oven.
Our waitress soon came over and took our drinks order. I ordered a 'strawberry diablo' - I had to ask what this was and she informed me that it was a sort of homemade strawberry cordial, mixed with lemonade - my husband ordered an orange juice. His was £2.50 and mine was £2.95 - it was absolutely delicious though, and worth every penny. There was a good selection of drinks on the menu, including a large selection of cocktails as well as wines, beers and soft drinks.
We decided not to go for any starters as there wasn't a HUGE choice and we wanted to get stuck into the pizza! There are 17 pizzas on the menu, each one defined by a particular city and arranged by continent. I really loved this idea and found it to be original and fun. There are pastas and salads on the menu as well, but the main draw of the restaurant is the pizza, so these take up the majority of the menu. After a lot of deliberating, my husband went for a 'London' which consisted of toppings of: Cumberland sausage, streaky bacon, chunks of roast potato with free range egg and roasted field mushrooms. I went for a 'Montego Bay' which was a BBQ base topped with: marinated jerk chicken, red onion, mozzarella and jalapenos and accompanied by a mango salsa.
The food came out pretty quickly and was really well presented, looking very tasty indeed. I can happily report that our first impressions were correct - YUM! Hubby really liked his London pizza, although personally, I found it a little odd having a fried breakfast on a pizza - my brain couldn't quite figure it out. However, my Montego Bay was probably the best pizza I have ever tasted. The base was a perfect thickness and the toppings were delicious. I really liked that I could balance out the temperature of the jalapenos with the coolness of the mango salsa. We both devoured our pizzas in full, and agreed that Fire & Stone had been a great choice for dinner.
Our plates were quickly cleared and we were brought dessert and coffee menus. We both ordered the waffle, which came with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and they came out after about 10 minutes. The waffles were very tasty and the ice cream was amazing. The vanilla was nice, but the chocolate ice cream had chocolate chip chunks in it, which was a wonderful surprise!
We asked for our bill and were both really impressed with how reasonable the meal was. Our pizzas were £9.45 and £9.95 and the desserts were £4.95 each. The whole bill came to around £39, which also included an optional 12.5% tip. We decided that we were happy to pay the tip as the staff had been very attentive and helpful and the overall service was excellent. We left will full stomachs and big smiles on our faces, and with the intention of looking on the website to see if there was a branch of Fire & Stone near our home town. We did look on the website, and sadly there isn't.
Overall, I would give this restaurant 5 stars. It was everything we had been looking for from a restaurant, it was incredibly good value for central London and the food and service were excellent - what more could you ask for?
Fire and Stone is set on a busy street in Covent Garden. It is opposite a very popular pub, and next to a couple of other restaurants.
I have been here a couple of times, and really enjoyed it. It is certainly a pizza lover's dream.
If you are planning on going on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night then I would suggest booking a table in advance as it is incredibly popular - especially with theatre goers. You can often pick up voucher deals via their website, including lunchtime offers and cheaper evenings out. But, they are rarely valid on Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights. But this is their busiest time, so they have no need to do deals.
The menu is divided into Continents firstly, and the pizzas named after cities within each. There is certainly something for everyone, starting from the plain cheese and tomato, right through to more exotic toppings including, duck, potatoes, onion chutney, mushrooms in garlic butter, lamb, aubergines, pine nuts, and jalapeños to name just a few.
Without a deal the pizzas range from about £8 - 10. And they are about the same size as a Pizza Express pizza (standard plate sized). But are more filling (because of the toppings) than any other pizza I have had at a restaurant. Every pizza that I have had, and my dining partner at the time, have been very tasty indeed and cooked perfectly.
The actual layout of the restaurant is pretty snug. While it is a large venue, easily capable of hosting larger groups, they do like to pack everyone in. I personally feel that the tables are a bit too close together, and while I do like to people watch, there is a difference between people watching, and feeling like you're on a date with the couple at the next table.
The staff are friendly, and efficient. Service is pretty basic and no frills, but perfectly fine. The drinks are served quickly and even though the pizzas are cooked from fresh, they are also quick to be served.
I have never had dessert here because I have always been sufficiently full from my pizza. But they always look tasty, and you can have a smaller one for about £2-3 and a normal one for about £4-5.
I visited Fire & Stone with four girlfriends before going to the theatre. Therefore the aim wasn't really for a long, drawn out catch up session, but for a quick bite before heading off for a show. We got a deal with lastminute.com, who I booked our theatre tickets with, for a pizza and a glass of prosecco for £8 - fairly good value I think!
The Fire & Stone we visited is in central London - Covent Garden, which is conveniently close to theatreland. It is fairly easy to find, it has a big glass window at the front. The reason behind its name is that the pizzas are stone baked in a big Italian oven.
We booked our table for 6 but did warn them that some of us would turn up early. No problem, they said, you can sit at the bar while your table is being prepared. As I came in they told me that one of my friends had already arrived and showed me where she was sat. We had to go to the bar to order drinks but the service was very fast, friendly and professional.
We had looked at the menu in advance on its website (http://www.fireandstone.com/coventgarden/restaurant/index.asp) and were very excited as they all looked very impressive! We were seated promptly at 6 and once we had decided what we wanted to eat. The menu is divided into continents all the pizzas on the menu are named after a city on that continent. For example, Cairo has roasted peppers, courgettes, aubergines, roasted red onions, a house tomato sauce, goats cheese and pine nuts; Marrakech has lamb spiced with cumin, mozzarella, mint yoghurt sauce, green olives, raisins & sliced red onion; New Foundland has Poached flaked Atlantic salmon, roasted fennel, basil pesto base, mozzarella, sweet red onions, rocket and salmon caviar - etc. As you can see they really try and find the 'theme' of the place they are naming the pizza after and make it very individual.
The pizza I chose was 'Byron Bay' - named after a fantastic little beach town in Northern New South Wales, Australia. Byron Bay had basil pesto, sliced field mushrooms, cumin roasted sweet potato, cherry vine tomatoes, mozzarella, green olives, and crushed macadamia nuts. My friends ordered a variety of different pizzas, all of which looked delicious, but mine was the only one I ate so it is the only one I remember or can comment on! I love sweet potatoes and all the other ingredients on it, so was fairly sure it would be a winner, and wasn't disappointed at all. The roast sweet potato had a delicious flavour and it went perfectly on a pizza with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the subtlety of the mushrooms. There weren't many olives on the pizza, sadly, but I'll let them off as it really was delicious. All of my friends enjoyed their pizzas too.
We had to remind our waitress about the prosecco but once she was asked she went into action and they appeared less them five minutes later. The bill was also delivered very promptly. Perhaps too promptly if you weren't in a hurry to leave yourself, but as we were it was all the better!
I'd say this was a great place to eat either pre-theatre or pre-drinks. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed and the serving staff were very quick and professional.
Posh pizza places have been popping up all over the place since the advent off Pizza Express and I have a penchant for them. I am an experimental eater so the weirder and wackier the pizza topping the better although I really am not sure about the tuna and banana pizza from a Saint Andrews pizzeria my flatmate told me about!
Pizza was on the menu last Wednesday evening when myself and a couple of friends went out for a girly chat and an excuse to celebrate one of my friend's recent engagement. We were in the Covent Garden area of the city, which is fun and fabulous but also quite touristy and can be a bit pricey when we decided we wanted something to eat. I have been to Fire and Stone, an independent gourmet pizza place with global pizzas a couple of times and found it not too bad so it was to there we headed to fill our faces with tasty pizza.
Fire and Stone is located on Maiden Lane, a small side street two minutes walk from both the main Covent Garden Market and piazza and also the Strand. It's also within walking distance of three underground stations (Charing Cross, Northern and Bakerloo lines, Embankment, Northern, Bakerloo circle and District lines and Covent Garden, Piccadilly line) as well as Charing Cross railway station. You can get also get the 11, 15 and 23 buses to the Strand and walk up to the restaurant. A second branch is opening up soon n the Westfields shopping centre.
Our first impressions of the restaurant were mixed. Its a large restaurant flanked by huge windows giving it a light airy feel. There's a long table in the middle of the restaurant and smaller tables are scattered round the edges. It has got a modern feel to it. On that Wednesday night it was pretty busy. We felt reassured that it could be so busy on a Wednesday nigh as competition in Covent Garden is fierce. However we were not sure where to wait to get a table. When we had worked it out we were told that it would be a 20 minute wait which we did not mind , as we could have spent 20 minutes finding another suitable restaurant and thus we waited at the long bar to the far right of the restaurant and examined the menu. Luckily we were seated within the suggested 20 minute waiting time at a small table near the back of the restaurant.
As I have mentioned the USP of Fire and Stone is that they take a global approach to their pizzas. The menu is divided into the various continents and each pizza is named after a city in that continent with ingredients that mostly represent that cuisine. For example you have the Marrakech with lamb, raisins and mint yoghurt sauce to represent a tagine, whilst Beijing is Peking duck complete with hoisin sauce, Acapulco is spicy beef with guacamole and Athens has feta cheese on it. For those traditionalist (my half Italian colleague despairs of half the toppings on pizzas in Britain) there are more basic pizzas if you examine the menu more closely. The Napoli is pepperoni and anchovies whilst the San Fransisco is your basic Margaretta. Non meat eaters are well catered for as seven out of the twenty six pizzas on offer are vegetarian. Unfortunately for those used to Domino Hut the pizzas only come in one size and one pizza base so no stuffed deep pan here only traditional thin Italian style bases. Prices range from £6.95 for the basic San Fransisco to £14.95 for the special deluxe range. (I fancy the Brittany with scallops and prawns but its just too expensive). Veggie pizzas are £7.95 and meat ones £8.95.
When it came to ordering I was feeling very experimental so ordered the Thai influenced Koh Samui pizza complete with "Thai green coconut sauce, sweet roast potato, crisp fried Thai shallots, Mozzarella, red chilli & mange tout, baby sweet corn, Thai basil drizzled with toasted sesame seeds." . Engaged friend is also quite experimental so ordered the Melbourne " tomato base with sweet roasted butternut squash, balsamic roasted red onions, sliced French brie, mozzarella topped with toasted pumpkin seeds" whilst friend number two went for the Casablanca "rosemary infused mascarpone cheese sauce, wild mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter, Roquefort blue cheese, grated mozzarella topped with toasted walnuts & parsley" but ordered it without the mushrooms.
"So what else is on the menu, I'm not sure I want pizza?" That is a strange question if you are going to a pizzeria! There is a decent enough range of starters from the traditional pizza bread, bruschetta and antipasti you would expect from a pizzeria to more global influenced ones such as hoisin rolls and falafel. Prices start from £2.45 for pizza bread to £7.45 for deep friend goats cheese , which to my mind is a bit expensive for a starter. We decided we just wanted something light so went for the combination of olives, houmous and taramasalata for something to nibble on before our main courses.
They also do a small selection of main course and side salads for those with a wheat intolerance or just can't face pizza. I had the Greek salad on my very first visit (it was a scorching hot day and did not feel hungry enough for pizza) and if I remember rightly it was a nice sized portion with plenty of the more premium ingredients (£6.95).
Drinks prices are fairly average for a West End restaurant. The wine list is a decent enough length with glasses of wine starting at £3.75 (£13.95 for a bottle ) and going up to £9.00 for a glass of champagne. My Argentina Chenin Blanc was fairly dry and very drinkable. They do a small selection of fairly standard cocktails around about the £7 mark which again is average for cocktail in this part of London outwith the Happy Hour. For the drivers and non drinkers there are the usual fizzy drinks and fruit juices along with a range of smoothies. If I remember correctly I found the smoothies at £4 to be a bit expensive. One of my friends had pressed apple and raspberry juice which was nice but there was too much of the raspberry and not enough of the apple flavours.
The service was pretty prompt and friendly without being overpowering. Our starter came within ten minutes of ordering. There were plenty of nicely seasoned olives but there were only about four bread sticks and the houmous and taramasalta came very nicely presented in a little dish no bigger than a jam jar lid. The humous was fresh with a nice chunky texture but I only had a couple of mouthfuls. It really was for nibbles only as even for one never mind three the portion was quite small.
Our pizzas also arrived very promptly. They are not the biggest pizzas in the world but are manageable thus no wasting that last slice. I was very pleased with mine. I had taken a huge gamble, as it could have turned out disastrously wrong. The coconut curry sauce was enough to infuse the topping without drowning the pizza and making the base soggy. Baby sweet corn and sweet potato are not the most obvious pizza toppings but they worked really well. I've had roast sweet potato wedges on a pizza in Piazza (a Kosher pizza place in Hendon ) where they were a bit dry but here the sweet potato was moist and well cooked. I'm not sure if the mange tout worked quite so well and the shallots were a bit bland. This could not be said about the red chilli giving the pizza just that little bit of kick. I'm not sure I noticed the sesame seeds though. The Thai basil was artfully arranged on top like a salad garnish giving the pizza a freshness. I'd certainly order this pizza again. I'd also consider ordering the Melbourne after sampling my friend's one. The butternut squash was similar to the sweet potato and the sweet balsamic onions were simply divine. The pumpkin seeds gave it a little crunchy texture. I was not so keen on the Casablanca though, as I'm not a fan of blue cheese. We all agreed we really enjoyed out pizzas and would certainly go back if in the area.
There was a dessert menu with desserts at just under the £5 mark. The passion fruit panncotta sounded quite nice and I'm sure I have tried the pear dessert pizza on a previous visit. If I remember rightly the base was a little dry around the edges and it did not differ too much from a tart. They also do mini dressers if you jut want something little such as almond biscotti and fruit Florentines. Instead we headed to the patisserie across the road. Our bill for a starter, three pizzas, three drinks and service included was just over £40. When it came to paying the bill I was not keen on them taking our cards away to their credit card machine, as I know that is when fraud can happen. I'd much rather have a machine brought to the table. Before leaving we checked out the facilities which were clean, modern and trendy with little square sinks.
I like Fire and Stone. I find the global themed menu fun and innovative. Its a place that would suit a number of occasions from a birthday party, to supper out or even a nice date if you got one of the booths. It is also relaxed enough for families and there is a children's menu. For those bargain hunters they do a range of special offers such as two pizzas for a tenner, £10 after 10 meal deal and a £5.50 lunch. All details can be found on the website.
Join me next time through a magical mystery tour of pizza toppings. I will certainly be back
Fire & Stone
31/32 Maiden Lane
0844 371 2550
This is my favourite restaurant in London. At first glance it may just appear to be a pizza restaurant but it is so much more than that, you won't find a pizza like it anywhere else!
All pizza toppings are especially selected, and each pizza is named after a place around the world according to what is on it, and you can add or take off any toppings you may or may not want.
With regards to the size, trust me, you won't go hungry! Pizzas come in one size only, and are plenty big enough for one. I'm always stuffed afterwards and my girlfriend struggles to finish hers!
Prices are more than reasonable, and more often than not they have vouchers on their website. We had pizza and a drink for £8 last time we went.
The interior is very large and open, and all the staff are extremely friendly, they have never been anything other than courteous to us when we have been.
It's located in Covent Garden, a few minutes walk from the station, although it is down a side road so you may have to search it out, or ask someone where it is.
All in all this is a great place to eat, so go and enjoy!
The woman who seated us was lovely. It went down hill from there. The juices came from large cartons, and they filled the glasses with ice first. Despite all that the menu promises the pizzas were flavourless. The base was not cooked properly and was too thick. The courgette was sloppy. The pepperoni was cheap. They never offered pepper even though there was a great display of oversized peppergrinders behind us. Most disappointing.
The Fire and Stone is located near to Covent Garden, with its local tube stations being Covent Garden and Embankment. The restaurant boasts a very modern and vibrant interior and seating is available for both small and large groups. The service is very efficient and welcoming.
A wide range of pizzas are on offer, cooked in a large wood fired oven and all moderatley priced. Desserts on the other hand, appear to be slightly over priced, but the pizzas are large enough that it'd be surprising if you needed a dessert aswell! The bar has an array of spirits, wines, beers and ciders, aswell as an assortment of soft drinks.
A discount can also be obtained by signing up for a discount card on the fire and stone website, which also allows the individual to get a discount at a variety of other restaurants by the same owners in the covent garden area.
Fire and Stone pizza restaurant is a great alternative to Pizza Express or Zizzi's and in my opinion a more upper class place than both of those two restaurants/usual pizza restaurants.
It is located in Covent Garden on Maiden Lane, the nearest tubes being Covent Grden or Charing Cross. The restaurant is huge, with really high ceilings and a fabulous modern design inside. There is a long bar on the right hand side and then long booths and tables for groups of people and regular sized tables. The both are a vibrant red colour which brighten up the room as they keep the lights quite dim to create an atmosphere. It does get quite noisy in there due to the size but not noisy enough that you cannot talk.
The beauty of Fire and Stone is what they do with their pizzas, they put toppings on them that you would never believe possible. Their pizzas are stone-nakes in a huge wood-fired oven. It's quite interesting to watch/see how it is done.
Their theme is pizza flavours from around the world, Asia, Americas, Australia, Europe, Africa etc. For example one of the best and my favourite from Asia the "Lombox", with marinated prawns and Chinese hoy sin sauce, just like Chinese duck pancake rolls (without the duck, obviously!). They do offer salads too if pizza is not your thing.
This restaurant is great for big groups, I last went there on my hen night, you can make a lot of noise and the wait staff were all great fun.
Fire and Stone offer some great deals too, on Monday to Friday they do 2 pizzas for £10 and they also offer a customer loyalty card which gives you 10% off your bill every time you visit. As they are in prime theatre district too they offer a dinner and theatre special where you can have a meal and watch a show from sometimes only £20 per person, excellent value in my opinion.
The deserts are great too. You must definitely save room for the chocolate brownies as they are divine. One restaurant that is definitely worth a visit soon!
Located close to Covent garden, Fire and Stone serve a variety of pizza's cooked in England's biggest wood fired oven. Nearest tubes are covent Garden, embankment or Leicester square.
The entrance on Maiden lane doesn't prepare you for the size of the restaurant, boasting room for 250 diners set over 2 floors. The post code is WC2E 7JS if you wish to search for a map or look on the website, details below.
So, I was with my boss again having my annual appraisal and he wanted to go and check this place out. Upon arriving we were greeted at the door and taken upstairs to be seated. My first impression was that the place was massive and perhaps a little soulless, the high ceilings gave it a barn like feel and since it was lunchtime on a Friday I expected it to be a lot fuller (I imagine there's more atmosphere when it's packed, but perhaps a little noisy due to acoustics in places of this size). The seating is booths at the sides and bench seating down the centre, at the front in a separate section was a table set for around 30.
We were given menus as we sat down but since we were trying to work we hadn't even opened them by the time they returned to tke an order. We ordered water & coke and asked for 5 more minutes. I had already looked on the website to see what I was going to eat nut starters posed more of a problem for me as I wasn't particularly enthralled by any of them.
Knowing I was going to be having a pizza I didn't want to fill up on garlic breads (£2.45 with a selection of oil, pesto, chilli or cheese) or bruschettas (an interesting looking French brie & onion jam was new to me, £5.95 for a selection of 3 types). The range was priced from £2.45 for the bread to a top end of £6.95 for chicken Caesar or goats cheese but we opted for calamari at £5.95 & the vegetarian antipasti plate for £5.95 also. We only drank Water & coke so I will refrain from commenting on the wine list.
They had promptly returned after our requested 5 minutes to take the order, which they read back to avoid mistakes & the starters appeared equally promptly with enough time for us to take care of some business.
The calamari - plenty of it, but you would expect so as its so cheap, the breadcrumbs were very crispy and appeared home made, quite dry & better than battered which can be greasy. The tartare sauce was plentiful but after 4 or 5 pieces my hunger abated a little and I noticed they were quite chewy & not as tender as I would have expected for £5.95.
Vegetarian antipasti - Mezze plates are notoriously difficult to do (well, to my standards anyway) and this one failed to meet up. A bunch of rocket in the centre was very dry, 4 breadsticks were far too big & the balsamic glaze used too sparingly. Stuffed vine leaves were bland and tasteless, braised butter beans pasty/overcooked & the artichoke heart limp and floavourless. The sundried tomatoes & olives were tasty but for this price I expected to eat more than 2 elements.
The selction of pizzas are split into 5 geographical regions with an extra one with a mixture of "deluxe" (expensive) pizzas. The idea behind this is to provide a mixture of flavours not found on a traditional Italian - in the same way that zero degrees (Blackheath/reading/Bristol) & gourmet pizza (part of pizza express, at Gabriels wharf/canary wharf/Winchester) do. Examples of the variety are
Asian - Peking, duck & hoi sin sauce £8.95
America - New Foundland, Salmon, Fennel, pesto & caviar £8.95
Australia - Sydney, Bacon, ham & egg
Europe - London, Bacon, Egg, Sausage, black pudding
Africa - Marrakech, Lamb, Cumin, raisins & mint yoghurt
We went for a Cape town, £8.95 (pepperoni & spicy beef) & a Paris, £13.95 from the deluxe section (roast beef, wild mushrooms & horseradish).
At first look, they were tiny & much smaller than pizza express (which haven't actually got smaller over the years) & my first thought was dominos pizza. The base is (apparently) made in house & proved twice to make it rise more. I found it to be crispy but too fluffy in the middle & they had used too much semolina flour in the oven which gave it a gritty feel underneath. The pepperoni was thick cut but there were only about 5 slices of it which is far too little for the price. The spicy beef was very inconsistent with some parts of the pizza being hotter than others - although this could have been because it also has slices of chilli on it, meaning the beef wasn't actually spicy at all. The few leaves of basil adorning it were a bit limp & I got bored half way through and didn't eat more than half of it. The customer to my rights food arrived slightly before ours & was noticeably burnt around the edges but ours wasn't.
The Paris was well topped & the quality of the meat good but ridiculously overpriced for what it was.
Service at this point began to deteriorate, the lady who served us when we arrived had been replaced by a surly looking man & we had quite a wait for the bill, which has an automatic 12.5% added (damn them!!!). Dessert was avoided considering we had left half of all the food we had eaten so far & we retired to carluccios around the corner.
I have no idea what they were thinking with the regions, some are obvious like lamb on the Marrakesh bit why is roast beef Paris and not England? Canberra is chicken? They just don't make sense to me. I didn't think the food was good value for money & the service could have been better. Downstairs looked a bit cosier & you had a view of the oven & huge piles of logs, I didn't make it into the toilets so I cant comment on them.
I will not be rushing back any time soon, 1 star
Would fire *
Stone me **
A pizza the action ***
Flaming good ****
Precious gem *****
Fire and stone are owned by covent garden restaurants, a group including rock garden, Tuttons brasserie & the international. You can apply online for a free 10% discount card which is valid in all these venues.
also posted on ciao
Not sure whether TazzyWazzy is related to the owner or not but I went to this restaurant last night and was extremely dissapointed. To be honest this joint is typical of the over hyped London Restaurant it looks swish and trendy but the one important point, the food is dissapointing - I found the Pizza's to be really bland. My advice is to go to Pizza Express....or to Italy!
Right, it is the end of the month (got a whole weekend to get through before I am flush again), money is very tight and as a result food is bland and drinking, well that's a can or two of Red Stripe (*in very bad Jamaican accent* big can mon!), as a result, I am finding myself surfing the likes of toptable.com fantasising about where I am going to eat after I hit pay dirt, and for some reason, I always go back to drool over Fire and Stone's extensive pizza menu!
My love affair with Fire and Stone started when I first moved to London back in February, and as they say, the path to true love never runs smoothly, I found the restaurant on toptable.com whilst looking for cheap eats for my friends when they came to my flat warming, but seeing as everyone was coming up from Sunny Tunny Wells for the evening and had to get home, Covent Garden was not an option - my flat was in London Bridge and I wanted to fully show off my lovely 17th floor view!
Oh well another time eh? So I asked my boyfie to go with me, but I got "I only eat pizza at La Porchetta in Islington" ohhh errrr get you!!!! But not to be put off, I could tell that this restaurant and I would get on very well, I was undeterred, so kept bugging him and bugging him and bugging him....oh and then I bugged him some more, but he would not give in.
I even signed up for their Privilege card (more about that later) as an incentive to get boyfie down there, but still nothing!!!
Then a couple of months ago, we were in Covent Garden, traipsing around looking for a pair of trainers for him, I managed to persuade him to go to Fire and Stone, I think that after a few quick calculations in his head he realised that taking me for Pizza was going to be A LOT cheaper than hanging around Covent Garden near the likes of Urban Outfitters, Cath Kidston, Maharishi, Miss Sixty, Joseph, Koh Samui ohhhh *drooooollll*
So reluctantly dragging boyfie down the street (as he was mumbling something about "mumble mumble mumble, La Porcetta mumble mumble mumble Islington mumble mumble don't get potatoes on pizza mumble mumble mumble") we managed to get to said restaurant without too much of a fuss, and we were greeted by a nice lady, that appeared to be the hostess, who promptly seated us.
Upon entering you will either be seated upstairs, straight ahead of you, or downstairs, to your right and down. Upstairs is up about 5/6 steps into a massive expanse of space, the whole place feels really open, clean and modern. The ceiling is really high and you can see all the pipe work on the ceiling, which gives the whole place a kind of industrial chic feeling, the walls are in orange lacquer, cleverly lit from the sides. To the right of the restaurant is the bar area (not really for sitting at, more for the staff to prepare your drinks), in the centre is a long orange "couch" with tables and down the left and right walls are "booths" for parties of 5 or more.
Downstairs is pretty much the same, except the open kitchen is downstairs, and you get to walk past the big stone oven on your way to your seat. Even though there is a massive open kitchen, a massive stone oven and you are underground, it is very well ventilated and cool, in fact when I went with my Momma and sister before going to see Mamma Mia, we were almost cold and had to put some cardi's on!
There is a good variety of drinks on offer, nothing extraordinary though, there is a good selection of beers here, compared to other pizza places, such as Pizza Express, ASK or Cafe Uno. There is also quite a good selection of wine, as far as pizza places go and you can also get them by the glass - I also noticed that they do champagne here, I am no champagne expert, and I don't really believe in champagne with pizza, but, if the need should arise for some bubbly, they all seemed reasonable enough.
Soft drinks (if that's your thing) are good and I particularly enjoyed the fact that I could mix my vodka with pomegranate Juice, oh and there was a good selection of farm pressed juices, such as apple & raspberry (ohh refreshing!)
A bonus here for me are the smoothies, and every time I have been in I have eyed up the Chocolate Brownie Shake - rich chocolate brownie, chocolate ice-cream & semi skimmed milk, but the little angel on my shoulder keeps shouting "no!!! don't do it!!!" hopefully one day the angel will get stuck in a traffic jam! There are of course healthier options, like the Tutti Frutti Smoothie - melon, kewi, raspberry, peach and apple juice, but it just doesn't have the same appeal as chocolate brownie in a drink does it?
OK, Fire and Stone is basically a pizza place, so for those of you who don't like pizza, this probably isn't the place for you, also if you are on any low carb style diet, avoid like the plague, I am assuming that pizza topped with roast potato will send your carb count through the roof!
What sets Fire and Stone aside from the other pizza places are the pizzas themselves, you are not going to get any of the traditional pizzas, what you are getting here is a gourmet pizza! All the pizzas are made fresh, and all ingredients are sourced from local suppliers, the pizza bases are created on site twice a day and you can choose to have any toppings from your pizza removed, although you cannot request extra ones.
OK so still not that special I hear you cry! So lets take a look at their pizza menu - All the pizzas are divided into five groups - five continents, Asia, Europe, Australia, Americas & Africa, within each group are a selection of about 5 pizzas, with names of cities within the given continent and pizzas to represent each city.
So for example the London pizza is crispy bacon, mozzarella, cumberland sausage, sliced black pudding, free range eggs and chives. So that's different - black pudding on a pizza?! I have actually tried this pizza and really enjoyed it, the black pudding slices are really thin and could even pass for large pepperoni slices, it actually works really well!
Other strange toppings include roast potatoes, sour cream, hoi sin sauce & guacamole. Don't be put off by these strange combinations, most of them (well all the ones that I have sampled) have worked - go on be adventurous! Oh and don't worry about the roast potatoes, they are teenie tiny cubes of roast potato and very tasty!!
There are a good range of starters, which include a vegetarian antipasti plate and a Mediterranean antipasti plate (meat), salads, oh and a cold pizza with salmon which looks really good, but the main portions are quite large and filling and to be honest I think that if I ever braved a starter and a main I may pop!
Salads are available for mains, starters, or as a side and there is a relatively good choice of salads, but I really can't comment, why go to a pizza place to eat a salad?
There are desserts on offer, along with a couple of dessert wines, but I am never really one for desserts, I normally take a look at the menu at the beginning of the meal and fantasise about what I would like to have but never follow it through. However carrying on the tradition of the "gastro-pizzeria" (i just made that up, do you think I should trade mark it?) they offer a pizza for dessert - caramel and banana pizza with coconut ice-cream!
*Veggies* Fire and Stone cater extremely well for veggies and there is at least one veggie option per continent and as mentioned before, you can request that certain toppings are not added to your pizza, so you can just choose a pizza without the meat!
This is a pretty reasonable place, and for the environment, I think that you are getting a good deal for your money, each pizza will come in under 10 squids and a beer, for example is about 3 squids so you are looking at under 15 squids a head and leaving very full and very satisfied.
Fire and Stone often do special offers, so keep and eye out, at the moment they are doing any 2 courses for a tenner, a lunch time special (between 12pm & 4pm) which will entitle you to any pizza or salad from their special menu (choice of about 4 pizzas), and if you are a student and have a valid student card, show your waiter at the beginning of your meal, buy two full price pizzas - get a bottle a' plonk for free!
Privilege card - go to the Fire and Stone website and sign up for a Privilege card, fill in your name and address, sign up for their monthly digital news letter and get your privilege card sent to you in the post (normally takes about 7-10 working days) and then you are entitled to 10% off your total bill (not in conjunction with any other offers) when ever you dine at Fire and Stone, you can even use your card at The Rock Garden (just up the road) & The Katana at The International and receive your 10% discount - just hand them your card when you ask for the bill.
I love Fire & Stone, the interior is chic and modern and makes you feel like you are in quite an expensive restaurant, the service is good, and the staff are all really friendly, also I think it is policy that the staff need to be suitable eye-candy as there are quite a few tasty specimens which unfortunately do not seem to be available on the menu!
The cost of a meal is excellent value, and the novelty of the pizza toppings are always a talking point, each time that I have been to Fire and Stone, I have picked really quite times, I tend to go late afternoon (after 3) or early evening (before 7) and the restaurant has been fairly empty, but there is always a slow trickle of customers coming through the door.
The restaurant overall is clean and well ventilated, the toilets are a good solid 9, lots of stalls, lots of loo roll, but there is a minor problem - the sinks look great, really contemporary and modern, but they do tend to splash so be warned!
You can see the full menu and get your privilege card by visiting fireandstone.com, the site is really easy to navigate as it is quite small.
Located on Maiden Lane it is very easy to get to, you can walk there from Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, The Strand, Charing Cross, Embankment, so none of you have any excuse for not going - well i suppose if you don't live in London then you kind of do, but as for the rest of you!
So picture this, you are in Covent Garden, shopping, maybe in Cath Kidston's, maybe at Maharishi's and then oh no! Shopping time is being interfered with, you feel your tummy begin to speak to you! Not a problem, Fire and Stone is just down the road....
...ok so maybe shopping isn't your thing, you are in town to see a play and you are a bit peckish, want some good food at a reasonable price - Go to Fire and Stone!!!
....try another scenario, you are waiting for a train at Charing Cross and you have got a mammoth trek back home and you can hear your tummy growling....so what are you waiting for?! Walk up the Strand and go to Fire and Stone!
I think you get the picture....if you are in the area GO, do not pass GO, do not collect your 200 squids, just GO!!!!