Il Pagliaccio is the kind of place you’d hope to discover when moving into a new area. Owner Teo and his team welcome their diners with open arms and a shot of lemonchello (the Italian way), and the food is authentic, fresh and delicious. There’s always something going on and it’s heaving on the weekends with Fulham locals looking for dinner and a dance…
Decorated brightly in the Italian colours, Il Pagliaccio is unmistakable on Wandsworth Bridge Road. Step inside and the décor is much more understated; expect exposed brick walls, quirky artwork dotted across the walls and a Stanford Bridge SW6 road sign proudly on display. There’s a family-friendly ambience during the day, but it’s definitely a party venue at night. Downstairs there’s a big function room which is heaving on the weekends with Fulham socialites wanting a post-dinner dance.
I was greeted at Il Pagliaccio with one of the warmest welcomes I’ve ever received. Teo and his trusty team were quick to sit me down, make me laugh and ply me with delicious Italian food. We chatted over an antipasti board crammed with crispy calamari with creamy, homemade tartare sauce, mussels with a flavoursome tomato and chill sauce, plump, garlicy prawns and crusty bread. Teo’s passion for the business pours out of every word he says and I’m not surprised that he calls the place a second home - he’s in here nearly every minute of the day!
The food they serve is fresh, homemade and bursting with flavour and the staff serving it are wonderfully friendly and attentive. The menu is typically Italian, with a huge range of pizzas and pastas, plus some more southern influenced meat and fresh fish dishes.
The open kitchen adds to the warm ambiance and you can sit and watch the skilled Italian chefs work their magic as you sip on a glass of sangria. Teo catches me admiring the chef at work and before I know it I’m rolling out dough and being taught how to throw pizza. Of course I had to sample a slice when it was cooked - delicious.
A lot of people come to Il Pagliaccio for a drink, a nibble and a hello - Teo has known everyone who has walked in in the last hour - and the bar is extremely well stocked. I finish my Aperol Spritz and say goodbye until next week, I’ve got a ticket to their charity paella and opera event!
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