Raucous laughter, rowdy environ, ordinary food. I consider these the holy trinity of Bring-Your-Own-Bottle (BYOB) establishments.
Precious little surprises me these days – May is still PM after that wheat-runner gaffe and drubbing in the elections, and Trump seriously thought Kushner could solve the Middle Eastern crisis.
Back to my surprise – I couldn’t wait to check out a new BYOB place that popped up on my radar and had sufficiently piqued my interest to take me hopping, skipping and jumping along to Nottingham.
Now, I have been to a handful of BYOB nights, but never a pizza BYOB place. I know what you’re thinking, pizza… and BYOB? Much like Romeo and Juliet, or strawberries and cream, beer and pizza is the perfect combination.
And so it was one Friday evening that I rocked up to Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen. A five minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen is nestled on Castle Boulevard. The exterior channels rustic insouciance and it took me a few moments to remember that the premises were supposed to be casual pizzeria-deli, not a full-blown restaurant.
And therein lies its appeal; I am seeing more eateries sell groceries and food to-go as an add on. I think this makes the dining experience more open, as I relish the opportunity to go walkabout during courses to check out deli wares.
Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen boasts a cosy yet expansive space. The bookshelf is a nice touch. Stepping inside the building is akin to being in the kitchen of your best friend. You feel compelled to kick off your sandals and comfortably slouch in the seating area. Tables are impressive (more on that later) and ample space left between each one, (I abhor sardine-squashed tables). The giant windows which let in plenty of sunshine may be Dracula’s worst nightmare but are a personal favourite, and pretty plant pots along with candles adorn the tables.
I loved the understated chic vibe, which I found oddly comforting, and which led me to wonder – how can an eatery comfort a diner? (More on that in a standalone post.)
As BYOB rules dictate, we had picked up a few bottles of Hop House 13 beer prior to planting at Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen.
It’s a compact menu, and one that has something for everyone. Sample starters included Caesar salad and antipasti sharing platters. We were starving, so dived right into pizza mains.
I had the Asparagus Parm (Parma ham, asparagus, fior di latte, green olives). Great stone-baked crust, cheese with a deliciously salty tang (that’ll be the fior di latte), and flavour stakes cranked up a notch with ham slivers. I really liked my pizza, and the portion size was Daddy Warbucks generous.
My dining partner had Meat Me On The Equinox (Parma ham, salami, chorizo, fior di latte, green olives, rocket). Again, tasty crust, different varieties of meat making this one very meaty journey. One for hard-core meat lovers I think; also a little kick (dried red chilli flakes perhaps?) wouldn’t have gone amiss here. I wasn’t a fan of strewn Rocket; maybe serve that as a side-salad, drizzled in balsamic vinegar?
Sides of smoked paprika and sea salt fries were very good, with the right sort of paprika being used (slightly sweet for the first few seconds, delivering a Tom Thumb pepper kick on the swallow). Buffalo chicken wings were my favourite from the whole menu, because they were flavourful, marinated well and came with a glorious glaze.
Dessert of Dough Knot (Nutella and mascarpone, bread ring) was good, if not a little dry but the accompanying ice-cream was a good call to make this tasty dessert moreish.
What I love about Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen, is the versatile vibe. One minute it can feel cute and cosy, the next, unreserved and almost debonair. It is the brainchild of an enterprising duo, who have tapped into something really very special. How often do you see a BYOB pizza place?
It attracts a diverse crowd too. I was sitting facing the door (people watching is highly under-rated), and clocked people popping in for take-away pizza, in addition to those in the know who came armed with bottles of wine.
Be it an elegant date-night, business lunch or catch up with girlfriends, Neighbourhood Pizzeria and Delicatessen is a sure-fire way of enjoying good food in wonderful surroundings.
We were served on the evening by the lovely Bethan Keen, who 6 weeks into the job has made it her own.
I would happily make the trip from Derby to Nottingham to visit Neighbourhood Pizzeria & Delicatessen. And I hope you will too.
Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)
Value for money: 10
Restaurant: Neighbourhood Pizzeria & Delicatessen
Owners: Sam Allison / David Paine
Address: 101 Castle Blvd, Nottingham NG7 1FE
Mon-Fri 8:00am – 3:00pm & 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday 8:00am – 1:00pm & 5:00pm – 9:30pm
How to make reservation: Telephone
Call: 0115 841 5085
General Manager: Sam Allison
Fun fact: Co-owner and GM Sam has made all the gorgeous tables by hand.