after the fun foodie meet up at kayal last month, we naturally decided to arrange another. getting to talk about food for a good few hours and not being embarrassed to take pictures of each other's meals - what foodie wouldn't like that? so since last time the loughborough foodies came over to leicester, this time i made my way to loughborough to try the newly opened peter pizzeria on ashby square. there were a couple of new faces too - local baker louise who created the "something divine" chocolate dessert on the peter pizzera menu and chocolatier dan of loughborough's chocolate alchemy.
i absolutely loved the quirky decor of the place. oddments and ornaments, mismatched chairs, menus on retro fridges, posters of classic films and a mix of exposed brickwork and bright coloured walls.
i wish i'd taken more pictures of the interior than i did actually! do check out their website for some really interesting photography of the place - including a teenage mutant hero turtle mural. or better yet - pay a visit!
i love the fact they let the customers know about their ingredients - something which is becoming more and more important to diners these days :)
you see, aside from the edgy modern interior, peter pizzeria compasses the original italian pizzeria. they are by no means a restaurant and are proud of that. for them it's all about the clanging pans, shouting chefs, leaning over one another, using your hands to eat and seeing other diners tear into their stonebaked pizzas over the table.
for starters we shared "life changing olives", haloumi on foccacia and spicy sausage. i had a homemade lemonade which was so refreshing especially in this crazy humid heat we're having.
the olives were lovely and salty - not life changing i have to say but tasty all the same. my favourite dish was the haloumi as the grilled edge was gorgeous. the spicy sausages, well, they were expectedly spicy, but along with a glug of water i enjoyed them too. they were chunky, had a lot of depth to them and had a herb combination i didn't recognise - maybe star anise.
we were also brought out a taster plate of meat and cheese to sample. the cherry tomatoes were so sweet, the parma ham on the right full of flavour and whoah that meat on the left was a lot spicier than i'd anticipated!
whilst we awaited our mains, the manager rafael came over and told us a bit about the story behind peter and his vision to bring a traditional pizzeria to the uk. for mains there are just 8 pizzas and 1 special as they aim for quality not quantity in their menu.
his family back in italy have made a really worthwhile scheme which takes on local orphans in naples and trains them to become pizza chefs. when they graduate, the chefs then send back 10% of their salary to the pizza school to fund the next students. how lovely and brilliant is that? even better still, for 6 months at a time the pizza graduates come over to loughborough and work in peter's. so our pizzas were cooked by their first intern :)
my pizza. number six... mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, prawns, rocket, parmesan flakes and olio. interestingly, rather than prawns all on the top like i expected, there were chunks and an underlying seafood flavour i liked. i usually don't eat the crust on pizzas (naughty i know) but the texture of the sour dough base and charred edges were just insane. i wish i'd had some marscapone cheese to dip it in! can you believe the shared starters, pizza and drink only came to £12 for me?
a foodie taking a picture of a foodie taking a picture of her food - alex of gingey bites who had a spicy sausage pizza i believe. oh and psst she's short listed for the cosmo blog awards - go vote for her!
laurie went for the number four... smoked mozzarella, raddichio, olives and sweet cherry tomatoes.
we also tried the number eight between us... tomato cured salami, gorgonzola and mozzarella. check out that charred base!
as if we hadn't already had enough carbs, the staff brought us out the nutella pizza they're trialing. this is made up of the same sour dough base, sugar, nutella, crushed hazelnuts and icing sugar. drool.
the verdict? a fantastic mix of italian authenticity and atmosphere. yet another successful foodie meet up over delicious food. having only opened last week they're doing pretty well already with bustling tables and the local italian community coming to try out the menu.
oh and why peter? well rafael did tell us but that's a secret safe with me.
find out more at www.peterpizzeria.co.uk
note: we all paid for our own food and left a well deserved tip too :) we were given a few complimentary dishes to try. review is my honest opinion as always!