Celebrated chef Francesco Mazzei is planning to open an authentic Italian trattoria in Islington this April. Radici will open in the area of London that Francesco has made his home and aptly translates as “roots”.
The restaurant will reflect the Calabrian cuisine of Francesco’s heritage, as well as incorporating dishes from the southern Italian areas of Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily, and Sardinia.
A constantly changing menu will feature a range of charcuterie and cheeses, as well as many of Francesco’s favourite dishes from his homeland, such as Umido di baccala (salt cod with potatoes, tomato sauce, onions, capers and black olives); Ferrazzuoli (eggless pasta with southern Italian lamb, pork and beef ragu); and Involtino di fegato (calf liver stuffed with pancetta, garlic and sage, served with smoked potato mash).
Fresh pizzas and bread will be baked in a traditional wood fired oven in the heart of the trattoria and families will be able to enjoy a feasting menu every Sunday just like is typical in Italy. Francesco’s right-hand man for over a decade, Antonio Mazzone will run the kitchen.
David d’Almada of Sagrada studios is working behind the scenes on creating the laidback, modern interiors of Radici that will reflect the sunbaked, rugged landscapes of Francesco’s native Calabria. The space will be filled with clean organic shapes, natural colours, and the iconic Italian tuff stone, while hints of blue in the furniture and crockery will run throughout.
“I am so excited to bring the food of my childhood to my London home,” Francesco Mazzei said: “I have lived in Islington for over 20 years and I hope that this relaxed neighbourhood restaurant will soon become a part of the local community and a go-to venue for authentic southern Italian food”.