Radici

Italian·
££££
·
·
London, N1 1AD ·Website ·Call020 7354 4777

SquareMeal Review of Radici

D&D London (Quaglino’s, German Gymnasium, Angler) capitalised on its star signing of Francesco Mazzei by persuading the Islington local to re-fashion Almeida as a neighbourhood Italian. Radici is a more down-to-earth proposition than the chef’s Sartoria, more trattoria than ristorante, albeit styled with the habitual D&D elan. With its eye-catching tiled floors and spindly wooden furniture, Radici looks like an interiors spread from a colour supplement, right down to the olive tree-fringed terrace which affords peerless people-watching of the comings and goings of the Almeida theatre opposite.

Ingredients are fresh and seasonal – nibble on some sweet-as-can-be grilled peas while you peruse a menu inspired by Mazzei’s southern Italian childhood. Starters impressed the most: meatballs with a deliciously rich depth of flavour, and a soft curl of perfectly cooked octopus tentacle, crisped up at the tip and surrounded by equally well-timed cannellini beans. Pastas were pedestrian in comparison, and mains of mushroom ragu with polenta, and calf’s liver involtino – rolled into a cigar and stuffed with pancetta, garlic and sage – were both too salty to be enjoyable; instead, order one of the excellent pizzas, buoyed up on pillowy dough puffed up from the wood-fired oven

The Italian wine list has lots of interest under £40, although staff need more training on the finer points (a request for a glass of sweet wine was met with a suggestion of bone-dry Tio Pepe). We’ve always been big fans of Mazzei and we’re sure he’ll iron any issues out – not least so he has somewhere to take the family for a feasting-style Sunday lunch.    

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Italian
Ambience
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Terrace
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Radici

D&D restaurant Radici is overseen by Chef Patron Franceso Mazzei in his local neighbourhood of Islington. Offering a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that lends itself more to a trattoria than a ristorante, Radici is a reliable destination for everything from after-work drinks to a family dinner. Meanwhile, Southern Italian chef Giuseppe Cafaro runs the kitchen on a day-to-day basis, having previously worked for Francesco at Sartoria for many years. 

The interiors have been designed by acclaimed designer David d’Almada, using natural materials to create a light, bright and welcoming space. It also offers a charming terrace for guests to dine al fresco during the warmer months. Head here for everything from a sun-soaked lunch or a quick coffee, to a romantic dinner or drink. 

Ingredients are fresh and seasonal and the menu is inspired by Mazzei’s southern Italian childhood. Starters feature meatballs with nduja and Grana Padano and burrata with radicchio and hazelnuts. While main courses are split into pasta, meat, fish and pizzas, with an emphasis on food that is rustic and authentic. That’s not to say the dishes aren’t inspired though, with pizza toppings featuring chilli jam, pesto and pumpkin seeds, and spicy salami, nduja and smoked ricotta. 

Brunch is served here every Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 3 pm, and features dishes such as scrambled eggs with Calabrian sausage and peppers and Radici pancakes with wild berries and honey. Pre and post-theatre menus and a pizza club offer are also available for a limited time throughout the week. There’s even a ‘bambini’ menu for kids so you can bring the whole family along to enjoy the fun.  

The wine list features plenty of Italian varieties as well as artisan Italian beers and fresh cocktails. Examples include Negroni ‘del Mazzei’ which combines gin, rosolio, cocchi americano and three olives, as well as The Godfather, a simple mix of whisky and Disaronno.

Special offers for Radici

1000 Points

For all diners to this restaurant, spending over £40 on Mondays to Wednesdays.

Offer expires 30 Sep 22.

15 points for every £1 spent

For all diners to this restaurant, spending over £120.

Offer expires 30 Sep 22.

500 Points for lunchtime diners

For all diners to this restaurant, spending over £25, lunchtimes only.

Offer expires 30 Sep 22.

100 Points

For all diners any day, every time


Offers cannot be combined. You will be awarded the offer that gives you the most reward points.

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Location for Radici

30 Almeida Street, London, N1 1AD

020 7354 4777

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-15:30
Fri 12:00-15:30
Sat 12:00-15:30
Sun 12:00-15:45
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-22:00
Sat 17:00-22:00
Sun Closed

Reviews of Radici

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5 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

21 February 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 4
Good for Pizzas

It is good if you have come to eat pizza or pasta but not much else.

When i was there it was quiet with a pleasant atmosphere and reasonably priced food.

There was only one person serving so customers had to wait   

Melanie M

30 April 2019  
Always been a huge fan of Francesco Mazzei. His food can be high end Italian or rustic, and he brings all that to this relaxed spot in Islington where you can chill out, watch the chefs at work and eat delicious food. Well priced, a great place to take the family.

Ross S

05 April 2019  
Modern Italian, part of D&D, varied menu of interesting dishes, excellent pizza, fresh and wholesome ingredients,.

Sue Y

15 June 2017  
Very good food and wine. Staff are friendly but a little too keen to push the pricier menu items.

Conor D

21 April 2017  
Food & Drink 3
Service 2
Atmosphere 3
Value 1.5
All right in a sort of a limited way for an off-night
Perception of restaurants is very much dependent on expectations. If the expectation of Radici is that it will be like L'Anima or Sartoria or that it will be fine dining or even that it will be the best quality high end ingredients, disappointment will be inevitable. Radici is none of these but that is not to say it is bad for what it is. Radici aims to be a tratorria and it 'sort of' succeeds but not entirely. If informal means noisy, it is certainly informal (to be honest I should have remembered that I stopped going to Francesco Mazzei's L'Anima because it was so noisy that conversation was impossible at peak times - he seems to like having hard echoing surfaces everywhere - as Jay Rayner recently said, there clearly are people who like restaurants like this, however, I am not one of them). The decor is also a bit of a mishmash with different styles of furniture and odd concentrations of tables in some areas with big gaps elsewhere. Perhaps this is designed to show its informality and allow for access to the small outside terrace when the weather improves, but this is only speculation and it could simply be bad design. The menu is limited and has a parson's egg quality of being good in places. Some thought has been given to the dishes and there are unusual and often successful items. However, a number of dishes were let down by poor execution; over-cooked pasta, an item described as containing pancetta containing none, an over-purified sauce and some unappetising presentations). It seemed that the kitchen mayhave been overwhelmed based on the time taken for food to arrive after ordering and so perhaps this is something than can be expected to improve in time. Prices are in line with other well-known informal Italian restaurants in the West End which is fine insofar as it goes but lower prices might be expected given the out of town location and the type of ingredients being used (think liver rather than beef or lamb, think salt cod rather than fresh seasonal fish, think lots of pizza). The wine list lacked imagination. It is short (which can be a blessing) and entirely comprised of wines from the less fashionable regions of Italy (which is welcome as these can produce excellent wines at very reasonable prices). However, the list is dominated by mega producers whose wines can be found in most UK wine shops (a single producer accounts for 20% of the list) rather than unknown (in the UK), interesting, independent makers. Again the mark ups are in the typical West End range of 300-400% over retail plus VAT and so there are no bargains here. In fact, it was very disappointing to see the "no label" house wines which are sold only by the glass and carafe were more expensive on a volume basis than some of the "labeled" wines on the list. Surely a tratorria has to offer good value house wines. Overall, and for me personally, this will never be a destination or a date restaurant but a place to grab a quick bite on the way to something but to be this it needs to improve the consistency of its cooking and offer better value for money on both food and wine.
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