Radici is Italian for ‘roots’.
Which is particularly apt here, because lauded chef Francesco Mazzei is branching out.
Previously, if you fancied a plate of his stuffed courgette flowers or Sardinian fregola, you’d have to rustle up your Sunday best, head along to his Savile Row restaurant, and hastily google how to remortgage your house (if you had one) in the toilets.
So Radici – a far more affordable and laid-back trattoria – is a very welcome addition to Islington. It’s put down its roots on Upper Street, right opposite the Almeida Theatre (and they run a very tight ship for pre-theatre dinners). The menu takes inspiration from across Southern Italy, Mazzei’s own homeland, and the restaurant is a sort of minimalist take on those Puglian seascapes – sandy beige sweeping across the walls, higgledy slate walls (the Italian equivalent of exposed brick) and flashes of azure blue on the seating.
The dishes may not showcase the sort of elaborate wizardry you’d find at his other spots, but then neither are the prices. This is a spot for dependably delicious Italian cooking, with a bit of everything, and everything done well. There are charred crusted pizzas topped with ‘Nduja, spicy salami and smoked ricotta, and ribbons of fettucine swimming in tender pork ragù. And if you want to branch into some of the more virtuoso dishes, there’s mackerel escabeche and beef carpaccio; roasted rabbit leg with polenta and blistering aubergine parmigiana.
Post-theatre, it’s a good excuse for rosé and vanilla panna cotta on the terrace, and on weekends, for brunch pizza and pancetta pancakes. In fact, it’s so tempting at any time of week…
…you’ll want to put down roots too.
NOTE: Radici is open daily (no lunch on Mondays). You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.
Radici | 30 Almeida Street, N1 1AD
Like dining out on Upper Street? Peruse our guide to the best Islington restaurants