Expectations will be high for 081, with Bravi Ragazzi having earned a firm reputation as one of the capital’s best pizza restaurants.
081 will open on May 1 at Peckham Levels with a menu of 10 traditional, Neopolitan-style pizzas, including one named for the late Diego Maradona, the football star beloved in Asciuti’s hometown of Naples. Asciuti brings the pizza – a classic Margarita topped with wild broccoli, smoked mozzarella and Italian sausage – from Bravi Ragazzi. Other menu highlights will include the signature 081 Pizza, topped with San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan, basil and olive oil. Prices start at £7.50.
Besides the slices, the new site will serve what it calls “Neapolitan tapas”, a choice of small snacking dishes. These include frittatina, a dish found commonly in Naples that 081 is billing as “deep fried Italian mac n’ cheese with minced meat”, as well as arancina, where deep fried balls of rice are filled with a Bolognese sauce.
“While it might seem like a risky time to open a business, I actually feel that now is the perfect opportunity to launch a restaurant because people are eager to find new places to eat and explore new food after being stuck at home for so long,” Asciuti told the Standard. “I’ve been working on this project since June 2020 so it’s nearly taken a whole year to get it off the ground.
“I’ve had to postpone the opening quite a few times now – I had delays on the kitchen equipment from Italy, I had to postpone the opening twice and most importantly I could not let anyone apart of my inner circle taste my food and give me feedback – but I think patience is key to ensure you’re offering something at the right time, when there is actually a demand for it.
“As we’re approaching the end of the national lockdown, I think it makes sense to celebrate with something new. Pizza is my biggest passion, and it was always a dream to start my own solo pizza business.”
The opening comes as pizza once again seems to be having something of a moment in the capital. There have been a spate of recent opening announcements lately, with Frank's Cafe opening Mike’s, also in Peckham, and the Dusty Knuckle bakery announcing a new pizzeria on Green Lanes.
For more information, visit 081pizzeria.com