SquareMeal Review of
This relaxed neighbourhood Italian is big on authenticity. The decor, however, is more Clapton than Calabria, with the industrial-chic vibe emphasised via distressed wooden tables and a cluster of low-hanging lights. The open kitchen is more traditional, turning out classic and affordable Italian comfort food (homemade pasta is a speciality). Fritto misto is a good start, the heaped mix of crispy king prawns and buttery whitebait served with a creamy tartar dipping sauce. Our only complaint is that the portion is too generous if you plan to follow with the star of the show: pizzas from the wood-burning oven, the perfectly crisp dough topped with the classic likes of mozzarella, capers and anchovies. We’d recommend the spicy Americana, loaded with smoky pepperoni, chorizo and flaming-hot jalapeños. S.Pellegrino lemonade provides a cool-down, and there are Italian wines by the glass. Service is a bit hit-and-miss, but there’s no denying that Venerdi does heart-warming food well, and it’s open all day, too, including full English breakfasts and lunchtime paninis.