Review of 'Fire and Stone'

We have walked by this rather funky looking restaurant a few times when walking along Maiden Lane. We always spotted the pizza oven which is in the basement - A large round brick oven whose chimney rises through the entire restaurant which is on two levels - A clean-looking modern upstairs or the rather boring basement. Of course, it is the basement where we were seated…

It was early in the evening but there were already a fair amount of people here. The menu is quite basic with a few starters, a large number of “country”-specific pizzas, and a few basic pasta dishes. The pizzas take ingredients and taste combinations from various regions on the world (“Europe”, “Africa”, “Asia”, “Australia”, and “The Americas”) and making them into a pizza, e.g. Texas which has BBQ sauce, salsa and steak. It is all a bit gimmicky so we spent a fair amount of time just trying to find something that was actually reasonably normal. Sour cream on a pizza? Potatoes? Anyway, the pizzas were between £6.96 (for the vegetarian “Naples”) and £10.25 (for the afore-mentioned “Texas”). Of course, you could make your own as well. I had the “San Sebastian” (£9.25, “Mozzarella, tomato sauce, spicy chorizo sausage, garlic & rosemary roast potatoes, roasted red peppers, topped with aioli and chives”) which was not bad (taking a bit of getting use to) though a bit odd with Sour Cream (unbilled) on the top. My companion had the “Athena” (£8.95, “Roasted red pepper sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, barrel-aged Greek feta cheese and pine nuts, all drizzled with pesto sauce”) which was a lot less tasty. There are two choices of base, their normal and the more expensive “Crispy Base” (adds £1.25 to the cost) that is thinner but larger.

We were disappointed with our starter of “spicy mixed nuts” (£1.95) which was little more than a few different kinds of nuts with a hot but tasteless powder topping. The “Crisp fried breaded baby mozzarellas” (£5.45) was far better with a lovely crunchy breaded coating and tasty sauce.

As always, we stuck to non-alcoholic drinks but mine (“Sirop Peach” at £1.75) was tasteless but my companion's “Diabalos Fraise” (£2.25, fizzy water with strawberry) was much better. Eventually I restored to a pint of coke which was surprisingly reasonably priced at £2.95.

We were full after all of this so skipped on the desserts but they are a mix of traditional Italian (and local) favourites.

Service was not bad for a restaurant of this type. The food was generally not that bad but I can't say we were completely wowed. Perhaps another visit if they have a special on or something. Enjoyed looking into the pizza oven on the way out though…

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2011-08-14

Cuisine: Italian

Address: 31-32 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7JS

Public Transport: TUBE Covent Garden, TUBE Charing Cross

Location: London (England) - Covent Garden



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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 395 1960