Passo is a new Italian restaurant in Shoreditch, right next to Old Street station. It’s the newest venture by the restaurant and hospitality group GoodLife Projects (known for The Rum Kitchen and Foley’s, amongst others!), and is a cafe, restaurant and bar all at once. The menu is filled with lots of tasty things, but what the restaurant really excels in is homemade pasta and clay fired pizza, which are all made from seasonal ingredients.
Passo feels very trendy and very East London, but you can also tell that it’s very close to the City – it has a very stylish and elegant feel to it! The decor is a mix of minimal and rustic, and the high ceilings of the restaurant make the space feel a lot grander, too. The furniture is dark wood, the bar is marble-top and all tables have minimalist glass ornaments such as the cutest little salt and pepper pots on them.
“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?” – I loved this!
We started off our Friday evening with cocktails – as you do! I ordered one called Green Hot Chilli Peppers (gotta love the punning!) and it was SO. GOOD. Made from jalapeno-infused Mezcal, blood orange liquor, lemon and lime, it had a subtle kick and the perfect sourness and freshness from all the citrus. It was also garnished with a piece of jalapeno, but I wasn’t quite brave enough to give it a bite…
The rest of the cocktail list is full of even more tasty sounding cocktails, each with a quirkier name than the other, and each with some kind of pun or pop culture reference in the name. I’m definitely trying out the ‘Grape Gatsby’ with rum and grape juice next!
Jim went for a cocktail called The Hit with bourbon and vermouth, which was a slight twist on his usual favourite, the Old Fashioned, but just as lovely!
The mains at Passo are divided into five different sections: salads, vegetables, fresh pasta, charcoal grill and pizza, so there’s lots to choose from! We decided to go for pizza as they had really unique combinations and toppings (she says and then ordered a Margerita…) like artichoke and rosemary or gorgonzola and mushrooms. The pizza menu also includes a selection of dips (for £2 each) such as chilli aioli and salsa verde. A few years ago I never would have even thought about putting dips on top of my pizza but I love it now!
As already mentioned, I went for the Margerita pizza. I really wanted to try something different, but in the end I’m a gal of simple pleasures: I love a good tomato sauce, a good dough (the crispier the better) and a dash of chilli oil. Luckily I didn’t have to regret my choice: the pizza was really flavoursome and the chilli aioli dip I ordered complimented it perfectly. Every pizza should come with this!
Jim was slightly more adventurous and ordered the Artichoke pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, chilli, rosemary and tomato. This one actually doesn’t come with cheese, but you can add that separately for an extra charge, which we did. The pizza was an interesting alternative to the usual vegetarian options you see and all the ingredients worked well together. Adding cheese was also definitely the right call!
We also ordered another dip, a herb aioli, to go with the Artichoke pizza – it was really lovely (and very refreshing!) as well, but not quite a match for the chilli one!
The Artichoke pizza
Overall we really enjoyed our date night at Passo – the service was really attentive and fast, the food was very yummy and the decor, even if it was a bit slick for my usual tastes, was beautiful. I’d love to go back to trial more of their cocktails and maybe one of the non-pizza dishes, too!