Homegirl London’s Food Review: Radici Italian Restaurant. Homeboy and I had a fantastic meal recently at this Southern Italian Trattoria located opposite the Almeida Theatre just off Upper Street. The chef patron is Francesco Mazzei who serves a selection of tasty rustic dishes, including pizza and pasta. If you’re looking for Italian restaurants in Islington, pizza in Angel or pre-theatre meals near Almeida, then you must book a table at the Radici Italian Restaurant.
“Rustic taste of Southern Italy in the heart of Islington where you can savour delicious pasta, pizza and a few glasses of wine before watching a performance at the Almeida theatre opposite” Homegirl London
Radici Italian Restaurant Menu
The chef patron is Francesco Mazzei who takes inspiration from his Southern Italian background and names the restaurant ‘Radici’ which is Italian for roots. The kitchen is run by Antonio Mazzone who has worked with Francesco for over a decade. The menu is small but perfectly formed, and the dishes come out of the kitchen quite quickly, which is helpful if you are going to a theatre performance at the Almeida opposite.
Smoked Aubergine Crocchette
Nibbles include pizza base with olive oil and rosemary, bread with extra virgin olive oil and nocellara olives which are those lovely green buttery soft ones. Small snacks comprised of spicy meatballs, nduja (Italian spicy spreadable pork salumi) bruschetta and smoked aubergine crocchette. We tried the crocchette which featured mashed smoked aubergine inside a fried breadcrumb coating. Antipasti featured salumi with buffalo mozzarella and charred mackerel with hen egg and Sicilian peppers.
One of our mains was the delicious tortelli burrata dish with a tantalising tomato sauce. Other pasta options include seafood fettuccine, beer ragu lasagne or taglierini (a version of tagliatelle), Fagioli (beans) and pancetta. If you fancy pizza there’s a choice of four, we tried the Siciliana with aubergine and smoked ricotta. The pizza was pretty much as good as it gets, with a chewy soft crust and good quality toppings. If you’re not in the mood for pasta or pizza, then you can try calf liver with pancetta and sage butter or spicy chicken calabrese. The fish option was cod pizzaiola with tomato and anchovy. Aubergine parmigiana will keep the vegetarians happy! Try the zucchini fritti as a side which is quite spectacular in appearance and very addictive!
Desserts included a marsala tiramisu which was a delight; the Marsala is a sweet red wine. Or you can try a retro rum baba which is a yeast cake smothered in a flavoured rum syrup. There will also be a cake of the day and different ice cream and sorbets to try.
Marsala Tiramisu and Cake
Price-wise, the smaller nibbles and starters were £-7.5, antipasti £8.50-12, pasta dishes £8-13, pizza £8-12, other mains £10-15.50 and desserts £6.50-7.50. The wine list includes many varieties from Italy. We tried the two mocktails of elderflower spritzer and the strawberry lemonade, which were very refreshing.
Radici Italian Restaurant Interiors
You’ll notice a sign jutting out from the wall and a few tables and chairs on the pavement, forming a little terrace for alfresco dining. In through those beautiful metal framed doors where a member of staff greets you. The open planned dining room is spacious but retains a cosy feel. Check out the other diners as you are shown to your seat because you are likely to spot a few celebrities, especially actors which we did. The interiors are akin to a typical Italian trattoria, although somewhat upscale. There is a mix of wood and stone flooring for that all-important rustic feel. If you head to the toilets, you can catch a glimpse of the busy kitchen which you walk past. On the right, you will see a bar with tiled front and behind that the drinking area with shelves of wine on display.
Radici Italian Restaurant Information
To find out more about the restaurant, go to the Radici Website. The restaurant address is 30 Almeida Street, London N1 1AD. The nearest stations are Angel on the Northern Line, Highbury and Islington on the Victoria Line and London Overground. Check the website for current opening times. You will need to book a table as the restaurant is very popular. Early slots are taken up by the theatregoers who leave just before 7.30 pm or around 2.30 pm for matinee performances which are usually on Saturdays, sometimes mid-week.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London food and exterior. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me.