Italian restaurant in the heart of London's Angel
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Italian
Address : 30 Almeida St, Islington, London, N1 1AD, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.radici.uk
Opening Times : Tues-Sat: 12pm-2.30pm & 5pm-10.30pm; Sun: 11.00am - 4.00pm
Closest Tube : Highbury & Islington, Essex Road
Private Dining Room : Details
Francesco Mazzei is one of the most celebrated Italian chefs in the capital but his cooking has never been synonymous with reasonable prices. People would pay a premium for his ballsy southern Italian fare at l'Anima, and still do at Sartoria. So we were a bit surprised to see him plump for a neighbourhood restaurant, this one in leafy Islington in the site that formerly housed Almeida. Translating from Italian as root, Radici reaches for the sky with its feet firmly in the ground.
The restaurant dining room is a lovely, open plan space in the honeyed hues of Puglia, with funky tiled floors and stucco-coloured walls that play off washed-out pistachio green banquettes. With windows wide open on a warm night, Radici channelled southern Italy. From the wooden tables you can spy into the kitchen and bar to make sure that the chefs are doing a proper job if you're so inclined, which would be silly because of course they are…
We kicked our meal off with a pair of Aperol Spritz, finessed focaccia and a bowl of Nocellara olives fresh off the boat from Sicily. From there it only improved. We heartily recommend pasta to start. Seafood fettucine was brimming with mussels, squid and octopus immersed in a spicy tomato sauce, whilst a wodge of lasagne was delivered to the table piping hot and laden with hefty seams of beef and mozzarella.
For mains we enjoyed mammoth juicy prawns served half peeled in a sweet balsamic glaze underneath a nest of crunchy samphire. The pizza menu is reasonably priced and packs in a strong arsenal of sourdough pies. We were especially smitten with the Calabrese, which smouldered underneath lashings of nduja, chilli and pesto. On the side we enjoyed beautiful razor thin shoestring zucchini deep fried a paper light batter.
Final verdict? Radici is exactly the type of neighbourhood Italian that you'd want to have as your local. With sensitive yet assured cooking at Islington prices, it's well worth the journey.