Despite Paradiso being a massive corner site on Warstone Lane we walked past it twice! Look out for two giant stuffed bears flanking the entrance – we forgot to ask about the significance of the bears, but you could.
The interior’s fresh with an attractive tiled floor, foliage and lemons hanging from the ceiling and a huge show-stopping pizza oven in an open kitchen. Staff were friendly and enthusiastic – the place had been open for six weeks when we visited so early days, but there are more sites across Birmingham so it’s not completely new.
It would have felt wrong not to sample the pizza given the impressive oven, so we ordered two. The base was brilliant – soft, charred and blistered – just how we like it. The best-selling Paradiso pizza was heavy on the toppings ranging from sweet beetroot cream and fresh chilli to wafer thin chicken and 24 carat gold leaf – yes that’s right. All in all, it tasted great. The sweet beetroot cream which sounded odd, worked a treat with the heat of the chilli. There was a tonne of mozzarella so if you like an especially cheesy pizza, this is for you. The gold leaf is a bit gimmicky but perhaps that’s the point – it’s a bit of fun and probably very Instagrammable.
Then there was the Capricciosa with fresh artichoke hearts, punchy olives and salty ham. Again, it was seriously cheesy. There were three dips for scooping up the moreish crust – garlic, tomato and chilli. Beware, the chilli version might just blow your head off! The waitress recommended chips loaded with grated truffle and parmesan. We wouldn’t normally order chips with pizza, but we were convinced and they were great, especially with a dollop of the garlic dip.
As well as pizza, there’s pasta and a brunch menu served until 3pm full of appealing dishes like burrata with hot spicy honey, a super green omelette with feta, spinach and chilli flakes and croissants loaded with smoked salmon, poached egg and mascarpone.
It’s worth mentioning there’s no alcohol at Paradiso and there’s no bring-your-own option which is not an issue but it’s good to know in advance. We sampled a Sober Gin and tonic which was good plus there’s non-alcoholic wine and beer, too.
In the context of the incredible pizza available in the city, the offering at Paradiso isn’t top drawer. Having said that, the dough is definitely up there. It’s early days – there’s time to polish the experience and we’ll certainly be back to sample brunch.