Review: Big Jo Bakery on Hornsey Road
PUBLISHED: 14:56 04 November 2020
The bigger sister of Jolene in Newington Green serves hearty generous pizzas and pastries, turning humble ingredients into dishes to remember
The duo behind Highbury’s Westerns Laundry and Primeur and Jolene in Newington Green have opened a sizeable big sister in N7.
Located between Holloway Road and Finsbury Park, Big Jo is a larger version of the successful Newington Green branch, with more seating, table service and an all day bakery.
David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim’s venture is now temporarily closed to seated customers, but remains open to sell its delicious baked goods, pastries, bread, and sandwiches.
Once dine-in services resume, booking ahead is strongly recommended in this bright, spacious venue which boasts an industrial, yet chic ambience.
The staff greeted us with friendly smiles when we stopped by for a leisurely weekend lunch. Sat by the large street-facing window, we noticed a queue forming already as we started with a coffee and wine spritz.
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Both were excellent and strong in their respective flavours. The daily changing menu is chalked on a large blackboard above the wood-fired oven. We ordered a focaccia, a pizza fritta (a deep-fried calzone) and a broccoli, ricotta and garlic pizza.
The calzone was stuffed with a luxurious amount of smoked mozzarella with a delicate hint of rosemary and went perfectly with the flavourful kick of an aioli and chilli dipping sauce.
The crisp pizza based served as a great contrast to the tender broccoli and crumbly ricotta. Don’t be fooled by the portion sizes; they may look like small plates but are rich and satisfying. Our side order of freshly baked focaccia was served with a generous slug of olive oil.
Desserts looked promising, and while the recommended soft serve ice-cream with stewed plums and crumble was pleasant and homely, it was less of a triumph in comparison to the mains.
There’s a strong focus on sustainability - the flour is milled in-house for the bakery and supports local grain economy and regenerative farming.
But what we really took away was how Big Jo takes humble ingredients and turns them into something magical.
Big Jo 318–326 Hornsey Road, N7, 020-3915 6760.
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