We were in Camden for a gig, and I'd hoped to preceed this with dinner at Marine Ices which sounds like a hugely fun, old-fashioned parlour-type place dishing up pizzas and sundaes. Alas, in old-fashioned manner it is also shut on Mondays.
By this time I'd worked up a serious appetite for pizza, so we ended up in Porchetta a couple of blocs down the road. It's part of a mini chain, and looks-wise is pretty unmemorable apart from some pictures of piggies in primary colours. But we did (accidentally) manage to snag the best table in the house. It's not a concept I normally carry much truck with, but we were sat upstairs, directly overlooking the open-plan kitchen and the mastery with which the two chefs tossed their creations.
We started with olives, which I thought were decent enough, though the husband was unimpressed as they'd clearly been stored in brine. My four cheese pizza was huge very nice, and surprisingly light for that particular topping. I'd say it was the closest to real Italian-style pizza I'd had in a long while. The husband, foolishly I thought, overlooked the pizzas in favour of a risotto. The advertised 'wild' mushrooms were in fact the bog-standard closed cap variety, while tomatoes -- which were not mentioned in the menu's description -- provided the over-riding flavour. Overall it was edible, and tasted better than it looked, but that's not much of a compliment. We had Italian larger from an unexciting drinks list. Bizarrely the place doesn't seem to have a website, and the waitress took back the hand-written receipt, but if memory serves me right it came to about 30 quid.
Conclusion: I'd come back for the pizzas and the theatre if we are in the area again on a Monday -- but I hope it will be another night of the week so I can try Marine Ices instead.
La Porchetta Pizzeria, 74-77 Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AN; Tel. 020 7267 6822; Tube: Chalk Farm