Gloria takes Italian dining to deliciously extra levels.
I reckon we could all use a little of la dolce vita at the moment, couldn’t we? Handily, that’s in plentiful supply at new Shoreditch eatery Gloria, where old-school charm meets ridiculously indulgent food. Subtlety isn’t exactly a key concern here – one meatball dish is actually titled ‘Filippo’s Big Balls’ – but when you’re amongst the glamorous decor and mountains of food, you probably aren’t going to care.
Although Gloria steers heavily into retro Italian charm, and carefully sources their ingredients from Italy, the restaurant itself hasn’t come from Italy. The restaurant chain (under the guise Big Mamma) was founded in Paris by two Frenchmen, and Gloria is their first restaurant outside of France. Still, with Italian wines, Italian produce, and Italian waiters, they’ve made it authentic as possible.
Gloria sticks out like a sore thumb from the moment you spot it, with a sunny yellow facade marking a distinct change from the industrial chic eateries that have recently begun to populate Shoreditch. Inside, the dining room is lavished with Italian marble, vintage lamps, and a mirrored ceiling – but the most OTT thing you’ll see is the food.
The notion of small plates doesn’t really exist here, as the early buzz surrounding Gloria has focused on the big ticket items. These include a ten-layer lasagne, a humongous sharing lobster risotto, and the dish we’ve got our eye firmly fixed on: cacio e pepe, served inside a huge wheel of Pecorino cheese.
Whilst the steady parade of meats, cheeses, and pasta is enough to get your mouth watering, you’d be well advised to leave room for dessert. In fact, you should probably leave rather a lot of room, especially if you’re eyeing up the lemon meringue pie. Unusually for a lemon meringue pie, it’s roughly 4/5ths meringue, blowtorched into a glorious sugar mountain, and likely to leave you bouncing off the walls (if you’re not too stuffed, that is).
Even after you’ve been thoroughly fed and watered, Gloria still has one last trick up her sleeve. Down in the basement sits a late night dining spot/cocktail bar with a distinct 60s lounge vibe. From Thursday to Saturday, this place will stay open until 2am, all whilst serving a shortened food menu. We’re having to reserve some judgement since Gloria doesn’t officially open its doors until February 22nd, but for now, things are looking pretty glorious.
Location: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3QR. Nearest stations are Old Street and Shoreditch High Street. See it on Google Maps.
Opening times: Gloria opens on February 22nd, times TBC.
Price: starters from around £7, mains from around £13.
Also published on Medium.