18 Devonshire Road, London W4 2EU www.theitalianjobpub.co.uk
Devonshire Road in Chiswick has gradually become the area’s on trend shopping and eating village with its selection of boutiques and restaurants including the famous La Trompette and the popular Quantus, although Gordon Ramsey’s attempt to bring glamour to the Devonshire House pub failed miserably and the building is now a block of luxury apartments.
For over 20 years Devonshire road was home to the eccentric Pickwick’s Wine Bar, a firm favourite with it regulars but regarded as seedy by others. Now Mr Pickwick has called last orders and the premises are occupied by The Italian Job, the UK’s first Italian craft beer bar and restaurant. It has been completely gutted and is now a fuss-free, contemporary space with a modern bar and bare brick walls where the blackboards showing the special beers and dishes are the main decoration.
The Italian Job is a joint venture from the founders of Birrificio del Ducato, one of the most rewarded Italian breweries and Marco Pucciotti who owns several pubs and restaurants in Rome including Hop & Pork and Epiro. If successful, there could be more Italian Jobs around the UK.The bar serves as a wide selection of hand-pumped, bottled and draught beers as well as Italian wines alongside Italian street food, burgers and cold cuts, with some inventive puddings too.
When I visited on a rainy February Thursday the bar was geared up to celebrate its first birthday over Valentine’s weekend and was packed out with a mix of locals and after workers. Bar manager Laura suggested we try Cinnamon ale from somewhere near Como which proved light and spicy and we followed this with a Chrysopholis’sour beer’. I sampled a 2014 Painure Pinot Grigio delle Venezie which was perfect with some brilliantly green olives.
We shared a good cold plate which featured 24 months’ Pio Tosini Parma ham and la Felinese cured meats with parmigiana Reggiano from Caseificio Cop. All the plates are good value at about £12. Burgers looked to be popular with other diners as were plates of Reginelle, deep fried pizza dough topped with tomato sauce, Parmigiano Reggino flakes, basil and EVO oil, ideal food for soaking up the Italian beers.
Specials of the day included chicken paillard and the chef’s dessert Birramisu, a take on Tiramisu made with Verdi Imperial Stout, an 8.2% stout brewed with fatalii white chilli. Perfect for a chilly Chiswick night.
Service is good with lots of suggested pairings from staff and the atmosphere is authentic Italian – bar manager Laura and the chef are both Italian and know their stuff.