Restaurant review: Pizza Locadeli, Upper Street

Pizza Locadeli

Pizza Locadeli - Credit: Archant

It’s only there for a few more weeks, so taste the difference while you can, says James Morris.

Upper Street is the embodiment of Islington’s wealthy elite.

For most professionals who live in or visit the borough, it’s the prime location for an evening out. If you enjoy high-end restaurants, nowhere else offers a better choice.

So how is a pizza restaurant supposed to stand out? I’ve always thought pizza is pizza. I don’t care if you’re in Upper Street or a Finsbury Park takeaway at 2am. It’s delicious. It’s hard to get wrong.

So I enter Pizza Locadeli, located at the old Post Office site, in a sceptical mood.

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This pop-up, which is open until December 23, has been opened by Michelin-starred restauranteurs from Mayfair’s Locanda Locadeli.

But can it take my mind off Finsbury Park’s finest?

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I start with garlic bread (£6). It’s the most sophisticated Italian starter menu I’ve seen – including swordfish (£10) and pumpkin burrata (£7) – and here I am going for garlic bread. But I love “g” bread nearly as much as pizza. Am I ashamed? No.

On service, I’m disappointed. I immediately note the “g” is dry. But I’m surprised: it’s still tasty.

My friend goes for the chestnut tagliatelle (£12), mixed with wild mushrooms, butter and chives. He’s delighted at its creamy richness, and later says it was his favourite course.

For mains there are 10 pizzas to choose from, ranging from £9-£15. We both go for the calabrese (£11). It’s topped with n’duja, spicy spreadable sausage, and burrata cheese.

I admit, you can see where those Michelin stars come from. The thin base is a perfect balance of crisp without crunch, while the fruity tomato is a sweet complement to the sausage.

Dessert, rum baba (£6), is my favourite course. Every spongy mouthful is drenched in rum, while the rich buttercream finishes me off for the night – and the next day.

It took some convincing, but Pizza Locadeli actually does stand out.

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