Monday 19 October 2015

Review: The new Autumn menu at Pizza Express, St Albans

I've always been a big fan of Pizza Express - they do an excellent job of offering proper, healthy food without sacrificing flavour. That's what I'm all about. Even a lot of the non-Leggera options aren't bad for you. But I love that if I am trying to follow the diet, I can still have pizza without feeling guilty about it. Plus, their Superfood salad is amazing. And huge.

Anyway, I was invited recently to try out their new Autumn menu, which I was all for - and even more so once I took a look at it. Chorizo and butternut squash pizza? Salted caramel profiteroles? Speaking my language. So off we popped to the St Albans branch, for a most excellent meal.

First up, one of the new wine on offer - Peperosso, a Merlot blend with a hint of chilli. It was yummy. Also, now the weather is turning cold again, it's reminding me how much I've missed red wine - I don't drink much of it in the summer. There's something so cosy about sharing a bottle of red when it's freezing outside, isn't there?

The two new Autumn starters were perfectly suited to Matt and I - mushrooms and seafood. I hate seafood, and he's not a huge mushroom fan, so we were very content (and didn't have to share!). The calamari got a hearty thumbs up from Matt, and I loved the mushroom risotto (Risotto Mio) - buttery, garlicky and rich. Three of my favourite words, right there.

I was extremely excited to try the new Autunno pizza, which won the Create Your New Favourite competition. Chorizo, goat's cheese, butternut squash and a dash of chilli - it was so good. The saltiness of the chorizo complemented the butternut squash perfectly, I loved the combo of goat's cheese and mozzarella and, well, I demolished it. That's the problem with thin crust pizzas - they always look enormous and unmanageable, and then when you eat the whole lot with very little trouble, you feel slightly horrified. In a satisfied way.

Matt had another new pizza, the Napoletana - a combo of anchovies, capers, olives and garlic. I didn't try any because anchovies :( but he polished it off with no problem. I thought it sounded like it would be overly salty, but he assured me that it was very tasty - the saltiness worked with the fresh parsley and mozzarella, and wasn't overpowering at all.

We also had a couple of sides - the broccolini, because I like a plate of fancy greens, and the Potato Nocciola, which are like round chips. Little round bits of potato, finished with cheese and parsley. I originally thought I was going to struggle to eat them, because of all the pizza and the risotto, but no - I managed quite nicely (I did share). I don't usually order sides in Pizza Express, but they're actually pretty light.

Dessert time, and that means only one thing... SALTED CARAMEL PROFITEROLES. The only way that these could have been better was if there had been more of them, and I'm putting in a request now for them to be a full sized dessert. They're part of the Dolcetti range, which are mini desserts served with a coffee. I don't drink coffee, but I quite like the mini dessert idea - sometimes all you want is the taste of something sweet rather than a massive pud. Sometimes. These are coated in a sugary, crunchy caramel crust and are filled with a chilled caramel ice cream. I loved them - like I said, bigger could be better, and I can always handle more caramel. But they were pretty amazing.

Matt had the Bombolini, which would have been my second choice because of how they're MINI DONUTS. I tried one, and they were very nice - slightly warm, served with gorgeous gelato, but I could have done with more jam inside, personally. All the jam, pls.

This is a very enthusiastic review, I know. But it comes from my very happy tummy - everything was so very tasty, and we had excellent service to boot. Thanks for the grub, guys!

Pizza Express has restaurants all over the UK. Our bill was paid for in exchange for this honest review.


  1. Hnghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  2. The butternut squash pizza looks so good! I haven't been to Pizza Express in far too long as these days I tend to pass it up for somewhere "cooler" but I forget how consistently good it always is and I love the leggera pizzas. x


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