Watch: Francesco Mazzei goes back to his roots at Radici

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Francesco Mazzei’s newest restaurant, Radici, officially opened last week. We take a look around

With a name meaning ‘roots’ in Italian, Mazzei’s casual Islington venue is his most Calabrian offer in years.

It is the south Italian chef’s second site with restaurant group D&D London, after his first, the high-end pan-Italian Mayfair venue Sartoria, opened on Savile Row in November 2015.

The restaurant that arguably made his name in London, L’Anima (which he opened in 2008), also served Calabrian-inspired dishes, but was still fairly high-end when it came to pricing, ingredients and clientele.

Radici’s menu is simpler, more straightforward, more family-friendly, and, crucially, cheaper (and has Antonio Mazzone as head chef day-to-day).  

Offering recognisable dishes from pizza to tiramisu, the site is not looking to reinvent the wheel, but serve good-quality twists on Calabrian food from Mazzei’s childhood, based largely on vegetables, and cheaper cuts of fish and meat.

One stand-out dish is Mazzei’s liver involtini, served stuffed with his favourite n’duja sausage and served with a chargrilled sprig of fragrant rosemary.

Even the décor speaks of the chef’s own childhood, with the mosaic-style floor and exposed brick walls reminiscent of the houses he lived and stayed in as a child.

He talks us through the concept, working with D&D, the challenges of opening in Islington instead of Mayfair, and why he’s gone simple for this site…

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