43 Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0NS
Pizza, beats & brews are promised by A Slice of Blue. Although the order for us was more, beats, brews then pizza, this unaffected pub/restaurant is filled with that elusive quality… a good vibe. The gifted folks behind the chain Santa Maria and Firezza combine their thin crust know-how for this trendy watering hole.
Painted an electric blue and housed in the shell of the ancient wooden Elephant’s Head pub distressed walls hold funky music posters in conflicting bright colours. The warm glow of orange vintage style filament lighting bouncing pleasingly of our faces making us selfie-ready. The decor is tasteful, nicely put together and not overly showy. We descend into the firm arms of a chesterfield booth and peek out into the restaurant admiringly. Filled with Ruairi Gilles period details, such as a prison door and beautiful stained-glass window, the space’s oak stairs and old cinema seats give a lush aesthetic to the whole affair.
Although there was no live music (Sunday is the night for jazz no?) the playlist choices were spot on, a well-curated mix of modern blues, classic Motown, with a peppering of experimental jazz (Lord save us) in between. Friendly and relaxed waiters buzz to-and-fro almost dancing to music that soothes the mind and soul.
Slipping our menus out of record sleeves (see a theme developing? No?) they produced a nice chuckle. Not shockingly its pizza heavy, but with a whole vegan section most people should be well catered for (unless you hate pizza, you freak). The chuckle though is produced by the whimsical names of the pizzas, Piggy stardust, Sausages against the machine and Green day are but a few. As a writer I must adore puns, and I do, when did we all become too clever for them, I cry?
A fresh cosmopolitan and a rather weak gin martini start the consumption off, moving onto solids we start with a stodgy bruschetta with pistachio (in a velvety homemade pesto) and mortadella, coupled with a smoky aubergine parmigiana (something about this cooked vegetable with oil and cheese melts my knees) so far so good.
Next, we delve into the eponymous pizza section. Bravely (or so we thought) we went for two no-tomato options, treading where other fear to go, your welcome! Can’t Knock the Truffle (get it?) can be smelt before it arrives, Truffle oil, Buffalo mozzarella, parmesan shavings and mushrooms, its gaudy, silky and glorious, cooked to perfection. The solo is turned into a pizza duet with the entrance of Suzi Quatro Formaggi (giggle giggle giggle) which, ridiculous though it is to say was a little too much cheese even for us hardened veterans. The pizzas are thin, fresh and authentically Neapolitan.
We finished the carb carousal with a nutty Czech Budvar and sinful sweet tiramisu. Lastly a artisanal pan di stelle, which carries us happily all the way home. Having all the best parts of cheesecake the mousey pan di stelle was a joy of dessert.
All in all, we left two rather bloated but very happy punters. The food is filling, tasty and comedically named, what more could you want? Although you are rather beaten over the head by the musical references the easy-going atmosphere and charming staff mitigate the thematic bluntness. I look forward to the live music offering, and to stuffing my face with enough truffle oil to last me months. It’s not shameful binge-eating if you’re supporting local live music don’t you know?!