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Radici, Almeida Street, review: ‘Lovingly sourced ingredients, delicious authentic recipes’

PUBLISHED: 15:36 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 12 June 2017

Radici

Radici

Thomas Alexander Photography

BRIDGET GALTON visits Radici which takes over the site where the Almeida restaurant used to be, with Francesco Mazzei as head chef

RadiciRadici

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many a fine meal at the old Almeida restaurant, but it’s good to see this large dining room just off Upper Street refreshed and reinvented.

In place of French wines and fine dining, there’s a laid back rustic feel to Francesco Mazzei’s Italian trattoria.

The chef has lived in Islington for 20 years, but originally hails from Calabria (Radici translates as ‘roots’) and his goal here is to celebrate the southern Italian cuisine of his childhood.

There’s an understated vibe to the new look; organic, natural colours, with Italian tiles and tuff stone. You can stop by for a pre-theatre pizza from the wood fired oven, or on the night I visited, casual diners were enjoying olives, meats and cheeses over a glass of prosecco or a Negroni at the outdoor tables.

Even the a la carte menu is crammed with comforting dishes like roast octopus with cannellini beans, and salt cod with tomatoes and capers.

There’s a comfortable bar area where they serve aperitivo and specially created cocktails. I sipped a prosecco and elderflower while considering my order.

Drinking carafes of wine from tumblers that matched well with the meal without being earthshaking, we started off sharing an enjoyable beef carpaccio. But the stand-out starter was easily the heavenly blend of salty anchovies, charred broccoli with a chilli kick and a generous, creamy dome of burrata that you couldn’t stop dipping your spoon into (£10).

My pal’s plump roasted king prawns pimped with a lemon, garlic, oregano and parsley Samoriglio dressing (£18.50) were much enjoyed, while my spicy chicken calabrese was a hearty hug of a stew £14) partnered with moreish sides (£6 each) of fried zucchini and a cold roast aubergine confection with beans.

We rounded it off with a small but perfect portion of a mousse light marsala tiramisu (£6.50) and a baba or cake soaked in a bergamot syrup.

It’s on the pricey side, but since these are lovingly sourced ingredients, cooked with delicious authentic recipes in a warm chat-inducive ambience, on balance it’s worth it.

Radici, 30 Almeida Street, London N1 radici.uk

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