telephone: 020 3940 2700
The Lapin Agile is a famous cabaret in Monmartre, Paris and was a favourite spot for poor but up and coming artists like Picasso and Modigliani. Now it has set up home as the Agile Rabbit in Brixton Village, together with its own nightly cabaret for the poor artists of Brixton. It is a small pizza house in Brixton Village sited near a couple of good fishmongers, so the smell pervades but only while you are waiting with a beer. As soon as the food arrives or the music starts you are in Naples (except for the cold). That is something they have thought about at Agile Rabbit. There is a heater and blankets for those who, on a Saturday night and indoors, can’t bear to remove their scarf let alone their jacket to eat their meal. It is small with tables and benches inside and as with all the Brixton Village eateries one’s spilling out into the alleyway outside.
Menus are limited to what they do best – pizza and calzone. Pizzas come large, very thin and crispy and with a choice of toppings including the usual – pepperoni, anchovies, olives and capers. The extras are very cheap (40 or 60 p each) so that you are tempted to add more and more. Calzone are more varied with several items in one lovely italian cornish pasty. The main difference between the pizza and calzone is not just the price and the fact you can’t see the toppings – the main difference is that the calzone comes with a plate and a knife and fork whereas the pizza is pre-cut and on a piece of grease proof paper. We got the a mixed vegetable one which was good but they need to learn that the temperature inside a calzone is not as hot as for a pizza so the vegetables need to be cut up smaller – the couple of halved button mushrooms I found were edible but only after I had worked out what they were. We also had a pizza which was delightful. For dessert we had a piece of their famous tart between the two of us. This tart has won prizes and we could see why. It was a sort of buttery, nutty frangipan with pecans – but neither of us can remember what it was called… However there’s a big sign advertising it so we don’t think you’ll forget to order it.
Drinks are soft (fresh juice or the usual fizzy drinks), warm (good coffee) or alcoholic (beer, wine and cider as well as rum). It was a very cold Saturday night so we had beer which was equally cold but we thought after a while we wouldn’t care. Service is swift, friendly and accommodating and the music – yes live music – was not so loud we couldn’t speak and wasn’t too much like the jazz I dislike. It appears that music is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The turnover is relatively high with people moving on and food served quickly so it is relatively easy to get a seat even on a Saturday night. This is also not an expensive meal about £12.00 per person including a drink. The calzone were a definite bargain at only £4.00-5.00 each. We can’t vouch for the wine but plenty of people were drinking it. That together with good food and a congenial atmosphere means we will return.