clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wildly Extra Italian Restaurants Gloria and Circolo Popolare Will Finally Open in Covent Garden

Big Mamma wants to open another site dedicated to abbondanza, in the planning since 2019

Gloria Italian restaurant from Big Mamma in Shoreditch: pizza, pasta, and steak on the menu

Thursday 6 May 2021, 10:53: This story has been updated with the name of the restaurant and menu details.

Big Mamma restaurant group, which has twice opened London’s most extra restaurant will hope third time’s a charm at its proposed new restaurant in Covent Garden. Planning documents submitted 3 October 2019 detail plans to merge 29-30 Maiden Lane and 15 Henrietta Street to open a huge new restaurant, joining Gloria in Shoreditch and Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia, and over 18 months later, a restaurant called Ave Mario will take over cocktail bar Mabel’s and men’s clothing store The Real McCoy’s.

Big Mamma’s restaurants are best known for a focus on abbondanza, excess, and revelry, sometimes at the expense of food tasting good, and Ave Mario’s menu will be no different, according to Hot Dinners. This Florentine-inspired opening will feature a 60cm tall ice cream cake, because, well, no, no idea actually, alongside carbonara ravioli and a selection of Venetian caviar.

London’s critics and influencers have taken to its charms in their droves, with the likes of pasta in a wheel of cheese, metre-long pizzas, and a lemon meringue pie with quite honestly too much meringue overwhelming palates into rhapsody. The Sunday Times critic Marina O’Loughlin declared herself a fan despite diagnosing much of the food as “crap,” with design and service based on high-concept gimmickry, tons of plants, and balancing a tightrope between exceptionally friendly and sort of obnoxious combining in something she found, overall, “deliciously transgressive.”

Big Mamma intends the combined sites to house 227 diners, open from 8a.m. — 12a.m. Monday through Wednesday, until 1.a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 8a.m. — 11p.m. on Sunday. The food is likely continue that combination of obsessive Italian provenance and slapstick proportions; it’s been a hit so far, so there’s no reason why Big Mamma would change the game. Abbondanza, indeed — with two terraces for outdoor ridiculousness.

Circolo Popolare

40-41 Rathbone Place, , England W1T 1HX Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world