What: Part of the restaurant group D&D, Radici, is an authentic Italian restaurant trattoria. The name translates as ‘roots’ in Italian to represent Head Chef Francesco Mazzei’s roots in Islington where he has been for 20 years.
New? Formerly Almeida, Radici opened its doors 18th April 2017.
Where? 30 Almeida Street, Islington N1 1AD www.radici.uk
On the Menu: Francesco Mazzei aimed to bring the food of his childhood to his London home so the menu reflects the Calabrian cuisine of his heritage, as well as incorporating dishes from the southern Italian areas of Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily, and Sardinia. Pizzas and bread are baked in a traditional wood fired oven while the ever-evolving menu currently has dishes like seafood fettucine, roast king prawns salmoriglio and aubergine parmigiana.
First Impressions: Being a new restaurant Radici still had that not quite lived in, immaculate feel to it. Knowing how important first impressions are the staff won us over with their natural charm.
The Look: Light and spacious, Radici is understated with natural colouring, iconic Italian tuff stone and hints of blue in the furniture and crockery. There’s a geometric design across the floor and a scattering of ceiling lights. There’s nothing to hide at Radici, the open plan kitchen is so open you are essentially in it when you walk past.
What We Ate: Whilst you decide what to order, we recommend you ordering the bread and oil, crispy, warm bread to mop up rich, woody olive oil – surely the best start to any meal. The starter of spicy meatballs had a nice heat to it without being overpowering allowing the fresh flavours of the burrata, broccoli, anchovy and saba to shine through. Another absolute must order is the side of zucchini fritti with a light dusting of salt, they are slightly addictive, the moreish shoestring courgette strips are piled high in a generous portion.
You often find beetroot and avocado in puddings, at Radici it’s aubergine in the form of a well-balanced aubergine and dark chocolate cake. We also went for an almond cake, which was rather dense but was well paired with cream and berries.
What We Drank: There’s nothing quite like an Aperol spritz especially when dining at an Italian, order one of these before moving onto wine. Radici’s wine menu is filled with authentic Italian wines including 2015 Statti Greco, Calabria and 2015 Botromagno Gravina, Puglia.
Go With: For a new restaurant with a decent sized dining area the venue was filled to near capacity when we left so it appears that Radici is for everyone.
Final Word: Radici is well priced and has a relaxed feel which is clearly why it’s so popular.
Radici: 30 Almeida Street, Islington N1 1AD