I was delighted when I was informed I had been selected to become an official Strada Food Reviewer.
Strada offers great quality, freshly prepared pizzas, pastas and risottos served in stylish, contemporary surroundings.
My task was to visit our local restaurant to sample the new Strada menu, which provides an authentic culinary tour through the streets of Italy.
We went to the Islington branch with friends to try the new tasting menu.
Our meal started with olives, large green Castelvetrano olives, fresh from Sicily.
The olives were very tasty!
We also had Antipasto as a starter to share.
Antipasto is a platter of Italian flavours
It includes Parma ham, Napoli salami and speck ham from Trentino.
Antipasto also has buffalo mozzarella from Campania, vine-ripened tomatoes, olive tapenade and bruschetta pomodoro.
The antipasto went down really well with the Schiacciatella aglio flat bread which is a basket of hand stretched garlic and rosemary flat bread.
The olive tapenade complimented the flat bread, and together it was an explosion of flavour.
The bread was freshly baked, nice and soft, and we could really taste the rosemary.
We were spoiled with five different main courses.
I had Orata al Forno, a whole sea bream, pan roasted with lemon and thyme.
Orata al Forno was served with a green salad and roasted new potatoes.
The fish was moist and tasty, full of flavour.
My only complaint is that the fish had too many bones, so perhaps it would have been better if the fish was off the bone.
Hubby had Risotto Zucca.
The risotto was very colourful, it had pumpkin, butternut squash, pancetta, spinach and pine nuts.
Hubby said that he could taste the different flavours and the risotto was seasoned to perfection.
One of our friends had Strozzapreti Pugliese, a classic dish from Puglia.
It is a traditional hand twisted Strozzapreti pasta.
The pasta comes with Luganica sausage, pancetta and broccoli, with red chilli butter and Grana Padano cheese.
Our friend highlighted that the pasta was beautifully cooked.
Besides, the sausage and pancetta complimented the dish.
Our other friend had Saltimbocca Maiale.
It is pork fillet with crispy Parma ham, served with mashed potato, green beans and a sage butter sauce.
Our friend said that the pork fillet was cooked just right and the mashed potato was as creamy as it should be.
We all shared Quattro Stagioni pizza.
It is basically four pizzas in one: Luganica sausage, Italian cotto ham, roasted artichoke and chestnut mushrooms.
The pizza was crispy and very tasty. I found it quite clever that you could have four different flavours in one pizza.
In case you are not sure which pizza to have, you don’t need to make a choice.
You can just order Quattro Stagioni and you will enjoy different toppings.
We finished off our meal with three different desserts:
Affogato which is iced nougat semi-freddo ice cream with a shot of hot, fresh espresso to pour over the top.
The semi-freddo ice cream is luscious and it goes down really well with the hot coffee.
The creamy semi-freddo with the strong and sharp taste of coffee compliment each other.
Our other dessert was Bunet Piemontese, which is quite similar to a Panacotta.
It is a soft rich custard made with Italian chocolate and hazelnuts.
Bunet Piemontese is topped with crushed Amaretti biscuits and a generous splash of amaretto liqueur.
Bunet Piemontese was my favourite dessert as the creamy chocolate makes a very tasty combination with the crunchy biscuits.
Besides, the amaretto liquer brings out the best out of the dish.
We also had Pistachio Gelato, which is especially made for Strada to a traditional artisan recipe from Marche in central Italy.
Pistachio Gelato was very creamy and full of flavour.
Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at Strada. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere was great!
I should add that it was our first time at Strada, but it certainly won’t be the last.
On our way home, we were commenting how much we enjoyed our meal.
We are planning on coming back soon as the dishes were full of flavour and very tasty.
The whole dining experience at Strada was very enjoyable!