• Italian• Shoreditch
The front of Gloria is as overblown as the busy interiors, with a tapestry of hanging plants – and usually a sizable queue – trailing across the Old Street high street it’s located on. Inside, loud music and boisterous chatter mean this is an ideal destination for a group of friends on a landmark birthday, or a date night with plenty of natural icebreakers.
The menu at Gloria is easy to understand and the food is easy to eat: beautiful Italian charcuterie and breads, crowd-pleasing dishes like meatballs in arrabiata sauce. Spaghetti alla carbonara – served tableside after rolling in a huge wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano – is always reliable, as are the huge Neapolitan-style pizzas. While the lemon pie with its enormous Italian meringue topping grabs headlines, the tiramisu is always a great way to finish a meal.
Gloria was the first opening in London for the Big Mamma group. Run by co-founders Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux, they gained attention for their successful Italian restaurant empire in their native France before opening Gloria, and have since added Circolo Popolare and Ave Maria to their London operations, in Fitzrovia and Covent Garden, respectively.
It is a restaurant built on frills and vanity. It wants and begs you to like it. Its spicy pizza is called The Robert De Nitro.
Gloria is styled with the intensity of a Scorsese movie set; specifically, a scene in which the antihero takes out a woman who is out of his league to get her tipsy on Nardini grappa riserva and unhook her bra.
Gloria: is this restaurants’ last hurrah before Brexit? French owners, Italian staff, ingredients imported from Italy, an atmosphere of optimism and glee currently in short supply on this side of the channel.
Sitting on a large and long-standing restaurant site in London’s Shoreditch, Gloria has been exceptionally cleverly designed, in-house, by new owners the Big Mamma Group
The exterior, girded by pot plants of various shapes and sizes, has attracted praise, but not as much as the interior, whose maximalist excess, designed to evoke 1950s Capri, has been hailed as a last pre-Brexit hurrah. “Gloriously OTT,” they say.
There’s a new kid in town, where you can worship the God of Good Times. Because that’s what Gloria is: a place to have fun
She’s an Italian trattoria in Shoreditch and she comes to us from the Big Mamma Group, meaning she already has a couple of sister restaurants in Paris.