Franco Manca, Tottenham Court Road
Franco Manca is perched amongst the many culinary offerings which line Tottenham Court Road. It’s a competitive spot, but they’re holding their own. On a Wednesday the joint is bustling: quirky staff scoot between tables, chatting playfully in Italian, whilst chefs launch sourdough into the air and skilfully fling freshly prepared pizzas into a wood burning, brick oven. There’s very little ceremony here. Once seated, everything required will be found at your table and once served, you are blissfully left to your own delicious devices. This is attractively rustic and frivolous dating, pretension free but nonetheless offering high quality fare within a fun and lively setting.
This is not just a pizza place, this is the pizza place. Everything is fresh and organic: the wine is bright and sulphite free, the ingredients locally sourced where possible (see the back of the menu for details).
Nibble on plump Nocellara Green Olives and Buffalo Mozzarella (with cappocolo ham or wild pig prosciutto) while getting creative with the additional toppings on your order. Whatever you do, make sure the cured chorizo is on there: earthy and flavoursome, it’s seriously good sausage! There’s something so classically romantic about sharing a pizza – gents, be gallant, the last slice goes to the lady.
Finish with a chunky piece of Lemon and Almond cake, infused with olive oil and rosemary, and served with honeyed yoghurt.
You’ve felt some sparks with that girl/guy at work for a while now. You know – the one that makes your heart jump everytime they breeze past the conference room. Unsure how to proceed? Franco Manca is perfect for a test run date.
Begin with a casual proposition: “Wanna grab some pizza?” – an offer hard to decline. There’s likely to be a queue at the restaurant, but take this in your stride. Throw out the fact that you’re waiting for the best pizza in town and pass the time discussing the day’s work – save the flirtatious chat for the table. Be seated, gents loosen your tie, ladies remove the suit jacket: “That’s enough talk about work, let’s be cheeky and have a bottle” – let the dating commence. Finish the meal with a sly shot of Italian liqueur and, with Soho just around the corner, the game is on.
It gets pretty chock-a-block – for fun and casual dating rather than intimate and serious romancing.
3. It’s only just begun…