Britains love Italian food. And in a capital city already awash with Italian eateries, from rustic coffee shops to pizzerias, you'd be forgiven for thinking the market was already saturated. Yet it seems there is no satiating the British hunger for more, modern Italian restaurants, and a new wave of chefs and pizzaioli are up for the challenge.
Infact, the last six months have seen some exciting new openings across the capital. Some with a "Britalian spin" fusing Italian technique with locally sourced ingredients, others, authentic pizzerias that have conquered Italy and are now chartering British turf with their mother dough, while others are giving us a taste of home and regional Italia.
Here are four new Italian restaurant openings to know about:
1. Luca, EC 1
Modern Italian eatery, Luca opened in Clerkenwell back in November 2016 under Chef Isaac McHale and the team at The Clove Club restaurant. Embracing Italian recipes with British ingredients ‘Spaghettini with Morecambe Bay Shrimps and mace butter’, ’Rump of Angus Beef stuffed with Pancetta’ and ‘Ravioli of Grouse with Potato and Whisky sauce’ allow the team to show off a contemporary spin on locally sourced ingredients for a true Britalian experience. See more dishes from Luca here.
Radio Alice Pizzeria opened in London’s central Hoxton Square at the beginning of December 2016. The youngest sibling of her overseas Italian relations, an authentic taste of Italy is guaranteed.
Serving the same Berberè pizza as in Italy, the long maturation, seasonal ingredients, the use of living sourdough starter and semi whole-grain flours make for the characteristic base that keeps people coming back.
Toppings range from pork sausage, pecorino romano, tomato, black pepper to prosciutto di Parma, burrata, orange infused oil, fiordilatte. And if you can't decide, well, it's always good to share amongst friends.
Seems Stoke Newington locals have been patiently waiting for a slice of Napoli. With the Neapolitan pizza institution opening on just 4 February 2017, the queuing time is for those with stamina, estimated at 2 hours.
It's no wonder Italians call it “the sacred temple of pizza” back in Naples which its called home since 1870. And yes, it's the very same restaurant where Julia Roberts’s character, Elizabeth Gilbert, fell in love with pizza. Find out more here.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, 125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16.Website
4. Sartoria, Savile Row, W1
With renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzei at the helm of fine dining Sartoria an all day menu boasts dishes inspired by Mazzei's roots in Calabria, and he's even managed to wine over the Brits with spicy sausage, 'nduja.
Keep your eyes peeled for Radici opening in Islington in April for more flavours of of the south as the Calabrian renaissance gathers pace.
A second season of 'Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy' is in the pipeline, but where will the affable American actor and food lover go next? Nobody knows. But Fine Dining Lovers has some ideas in this tongue-in-cheek series guide. Take a look.
Ramadan is the holy month of Islam, observed by millions of Muslims around the world. People refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, but when it's time to break the fast there are plenty of dishes to enjoy. Here are 20 of the tastiest to try.
As England gets ready to reopen its restaurants on 12 April for outdoor dining after the lockdowns, restaurateurs and bar owners respond to the new legislation with some exciting pop-ups and creative al fresco dining solutions. Find out more.