Welcome to Louis WAGS It! A monthly review of Zahra and Louis’ top restaurant picks from the WagIt platform.
After studying cookery and food sciences for over 5 years, Zahra decided to settle down with someone who has impeccable taste when it comes to dining out. That someone is Louis. On this blog, they will combine their food expertise to review WagIt’s restaurants and give you the lowdown on where to eat and what to order.
Each month, they will break down a selection of venues with Louis’ WAGS.
W for Where – All you need to get there
A for Atmosphere – What makes this place special?
G for Grub – Zahra’s passion and domain
S for Service – Louis tells all.
Louis WAGS It – Central
Hello again, fur friends and foodie dog parents! Louis and I are reporting back for the third time on our restaurant adventures over the past month. This August bank holiday weekend, we’ve pawtied hard and eaten to our hearts’ content at 3 of WagIt’s most highly rated restaurants all in Central London!
The Italian Greyhound
In a city with around 300,000 Italians, it can surprisingly still be hard to find an Italian restaurant that hits all the spots – good quality food, friendly staff and not overly expensive. I was thrilled when I walked into The Italian Greyhound and saw that all the criteria were met. Plus, they welcomed Louis with open arms and treats at the ready. This one’s becoming a regular!
Where – Located around the corner from Marble Arch, the restaurant was formerly called Bernardi’s who were known for their cocktails and high end Italian cuisine. Unfortunately, the business closed over lockdown but has reopened brighter and better under the new name calling dogs and humans alike.
Atmosphere – Modern and light interiors with a few tables outside. Dogs are welcome in all parts of the restaurant and are greeted by tipsy city workers making the most of the great value Aperitvo on offer. Every month or so, the restaurant hosts an Italian Greyhound pizza party downstairs where around 60 to 80 Italian Greyhounds can whizz around while their parents enjoy a pint and pizza.
Grub – Well rounded and ‘Goldilocks’ sized menu (not too big and not too small) where every dish “is just right”! We went for a few antipasti to share, including the homemade focaccia, followed by a couple of the restaurant’s signature pasta dishes. The star of the show was the crab linguine which is the best I’ve tasted outside Italy. The cacio e pepe ravioli was also delicate and well crafted. We were a bit disappointed by the chicken milanese which was very mediocre, but luckily the main dish was made up for by the decadent ricotta and chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
Service – Everybodyhere greetedme with a massive smile and I was absolutely wagging it! Lots of cuddles, special treatment and they even brought me water before mummy could ask. A very nice man also treated me to a few biscuits and told us about the dog parties downstairs. I know I’m not an Italian Greyhound but I’d still love an invite. Perhaps I’ll host my next birthday party here where all foodie dogs are welcome, not just the skinny Italian ones!
Louis WAGS It: 4.5/5
With an unforgettable 3 course doggy dining experience, in one night, this family run establishment has become Louis’ favourite restaurant in London! David and his wife Rupal have come up with the perfect formula to satisfy Londeners and their dogs’ tummies alike.
Monday to Thursday the restaurant is closed and the kitchen is taken over by Talula Eats, a doggie catering service that makes fresh, gourmet food for dogs and delivered to lucky pooches across London. Come Thursday evening, Catalina’s opens to serve authentic Mexican flavours to Londoners and their furry companions. A quirky and charming dining experience which should be known to all WagIt paw parents and pals!
Where – Right in the heart of Warren Street. I’ve walked through this area a million times, back and forth from work, and never knew this gem existed!
Atmosphere – A small space with vibrant decor. This is an ideal post-work spot for a “Marg” and a couple of nibbles. The atmosphere is truly lit up with the energy from the staff and the big smiles of the chatty customers.
Grub – Recently, my boyfriend and I have become fiends for some good nachos (mostly after we’ve had a drink or two) and we are now both ruined for eating this Mexican sharing plate anywhere that’s not Catalina’s. The nachos are a work of art and we picked at the high stacked pile as if we were playing a game of Jenga. The BBQ pork and 12-hour brisket tacos are also definitely worth a try. They’re tender, smokey and topped off with catalina’s homemade hot sauce. Now, for the real show-stopper – the doggy menu! As a belated birthday treat, Louis had the three-course seasonal menu which included a slice of dog pizza, meat and lentil risotto, followed by a doggy cupcake. I’m not sure who was more indulged at this meal but we all fell into a blissful food coma around the same time.
Service – I know I’m only an up and coming star, as the newest furry food critic on the block, but these guys really pulled out the red carpet for me. The chefs personally came out to greet me hello, they offered me a selection of dishes for my supper and the lovely waitress came to check up on me, giving me cuddles every 15 minutes or so. I could get used to this kind of life! Mum better step up her game or I’m moving to Warren Street.
Louis WAGS It: 5/5
Pizza Pilgrims – Covent Garden
My partner and I walked around Covent Garden one evening after work desperate to find a place we could take Louis for a quick dinner. Eventually, we found Pizza Pilgrims that could squeeze us in on a small table in the corner. We were comforted by the fact that a chain we know and like could offer us a table and we wouldn’t walk away feeling unsatisfied and having broken the bank. We’re so thrilled they have now decided to join the WagIt wagon so we always know it’s a safe bet when we’re tired and hungry walking the streets of Central London.
Where – Multiple locations across England with a good few across London welcoming WagIt paw parents.
Atmosphere – Everything in the Pizza Pilgrims restaurants is there to remind you that you’re in an Italian pizzeria (just in case you might have forgotten). The loud, open kitchen with flinging dough, the checked green and red tablecloths and lastly, the waiters taking your order with their charming Italian accents. Somehow, it never comes across as tacky, but merely fun and colourful!
Grub – They’re all about Neapolitan style pizza, meaning thick, soft crusts with a thin, floppy base covered in none other than a tasty San Marzano tomato sauce. Whilst the quality of the ingredients are good, I can’t say these pizzas rate all that highly for me. They’re rather heavy on the dough and are sparse on toppings so crust dippers are an absolute must to crank up the taste! Definitely get all three to share for the table. I went for the eight cheese pizza which is highly overindulgent but had the right combination of flavours. Some locations offer artichokes fritti and Mac n’ Cheese balls which are light, crunchy and far more worth the calories than the pizzas.
Service – Whilst the staff were kind enough to accommodate us, the restaurant is rather busy at dinner time and there wasn’t all that much place for me. The waiters didn’t really acknowledge me but they did bring some water for me when mummy asked. Luckily I had a long walk discovering the sites of Covent Garden before dinner so I slept under the table like the little angel I am. Some of my larger and badly behaved friends from the park may have not had it quite as easy. I would recommend they visit when the restaurant is less packed!
Louis WAGS It: 3/5