Gloria Trattoria bounced onto the London restaurant scene early last year, borne out of Big Mamma Group. The sister of central London’s Circolo Populare, Gloria can be described as its hip sister, thanks in part to its Shoreditch location. I recently visited with high expectations, having had to wait nearly a month for a reservation, even after it had been opened for over six months. Here’s how we got on, and my thoughts of Gloria Trattoria.
Arriving at Gloria Trattoria
As a Parisian restaurant group promising excellent Italian trattoria style cuisine, I was intrigued to see what the fuss was all about. Of course, you see so many girls posting endless photos of themselves in Gloria Trattoria, and everyone knows about the spaghetti in wheels of cheese. But what was it really like?
The exterior of the restaurant is fairly inconspicuous, although it certainly doesn’t scream East London. This is thanks in part to the dozens of tropical plants covering the outside like a jungle, and the cream canopy covering the front. It definitely made me more interested to head inside.
Inside Gloria Trattoria
The interior of Gloria Trattoria is pretty impressive. You’re struck instantly by the low-lit, atmospheric vibes. The decor is elegant, and there are two dining rooms across two floors. Around you in the entrance to the upstairs dining room, you see plenty of marble, 50s style furnishings, and flowers.
Announcing our reservation, we were led downstairs to a slightly more atmospheric and moody dining room. We were led through curtains and past a sultry neon light. I love neon, so it doesn’t take too much to impress me. The kitchen is open so you can watch the chefs at work, and there’s a super cool mirrored ceiling. It really does have a dreamy decor.
It’s old school shaken up, with beautiful old 50s velvet furnishings. We were seated to face towards the open kitchen, and admired every detail. From the frames on the walls to the dim lighting, everything felt very considered. But for now, time to eat!
Incredible Italian food
The menu at Gloria Trattoria is just as indulgent as the interior and furnishings. It’s even retro itself. While it appears to deliver classical Italian trattoria dishes, every meal adds a little extra oomph.
We ordered drinks while perusing the food menu, and I was impressed with the details. While, simple, even the water decanter is fish shaped with intricate scales. Just look at how my cocktail turned up.
An aptly named ‘Look Me in the Eyes’, it’s a blend of three rums, almond hibiscus syrup, Triple Sec, lime, and maracuja. This is all served up in a boob mug, of which I fancy having many at home! For starters, we ordered the truffle burrata – in fact we were upsold a larger version. It was tasty and there was rather a lot of it. Perhaps a little too much perhaps. The accompanying bread and oil we ordered with it was super tasty too.
Perhaps this is all part of Gloria’s indulgences – there may be truffle burrata, and it’s huge. They do a lasagne, and it’s ten layers thick. You get the message. Make sure you arrive with an appetite, because you’re sure as hell not going home with one.
For our mains, we ordered the cacio e pepe served in a parmesan wheel. I’d had the best cacio e pepe in a small restaurant in Trastevere in Rome, so was keen to see how it would match up. It was nowhere near as good – but it was rich, flavourful, and delicious. A real indulgent treat.
The service throughout our meal was good. The servers were mostly young, Italian, and extremely handsome. It really added a nice touch to the whole experience. All in all, Gloria Trattoria is a great place for dinner. It’s a little Instagram (but for good reason), yet the food really is delicious.