Opposite the Almeida Theatre, lots of greenery and a few benches mark the restaurant Almeida. The entrance is decorated with crates of fresh lemons, a lemon tree and cushioned seating.
The restaurant area is spacious, clean and feels calming with its soft blue walls, brickwork and wooden furniture. There is a nice variety to the seating. Some of the bigger tables had been decorated according to the season. As it was autumn time, big bowls of pumpkins made for the centre pieces. There was a rustic homely feel to this restaurant. The music in the background was not too loud. Radici’s kitchen could be seen through the rectangular “arches”.
The pizza that was ordered was one from Sicily. The Siciliana had smoked ricotta, aubergine and mozzarella. It was served on a wooden board. Radici’s pizza base was thin and cooked just right. Big slices of aubergine were tender and soft. The smoked ricotta couldn’t really be tasted. But the simple rich tomato sauce came through.
As the ricotta couldn’t be tasted, I did enquire with the staff to see if it had been missed off. Initially, the staff said that it was melted in with the mozzarella. But then, the waiter came back and told me that it had accidently been missed off the pizza. A small dish of the smoked ricotta was brought so that I was able to top the pizza with it. The addition of the smoked ricotta gave the pizza so much depth and flavour.
The staff were really friendly and did come to check that everything was okay. They also came to tell me that they were happy to pack the pizza to take away if it couldn’t be finished.
Dining at Radici was just what was needed after a long and busy day. Great pizza, a good atmosphere and feeling happily relaxed made a lovely end to a productive day. Sometimes it is the simple things that can brighten the day.
Radici, 30 Almeida Street, London, N1 1ADRating: