You don’t need GCSE Italian to understand the menu at Broadway Market ‘red sauce joint’, Bella Vita. Avocado con gamberi, prosciutto e melone, calamari fritti, ravioli al salmone, pizza Fiorentina, pollo alla Milanese… these are dishes you’ll find on pizza & pasta restaurants the world over. Knowing exactly what you’re going to get when you see the menu is not necessarily a bad thing, though. The accompanying Moretti posters, boxes of Barilla pasta & giant phallic pepper mill might have a comforting familiarity too, although less so the harried staff. Hackney’s young & hip (& the Boden-shopping parents they will one day become) have embraced the place for all its cheesiness, probably because prices are reasonable – a tenner will buy you most of the pizza or pasta dishes – & because it’s lively & fun.
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