Let me tell you where you can eat a superb quality pizza in London.
This place has a curious name: “Pizzeria Radio Alice”, named after an Italian pirate radio station and founded by two brothers Matteo and Salvatore with their friend Emma. Their pizza recipe comes from Bologna from their popular pizzerias named “Berbere”.
They use organic, stoneground flour with a mother yeast sourdough resulting in a pizza that’s soft inside and crunchy on the outside. I would call this a contemporary quality pizza, easy to digest. I particularly liked the texture and the flavour of the dough: there is quality and there is taste.
Now, although most reviews about this place are positive, I have seen some negative ones coming from newspaper critics: some critisizing their too thick and too”dry” (was it?) crust and some referring to the fact that pizza should just be pizza and not be “reinvented”.
Well I am saying that pizza is not just pizza, making pizza is an art of its own. If you go to Italy these days you will find many pizzerias using different types of ancient grains, using local ingredients whenever possible with Italians enjoying a well made pizza crust with quality flour. “Il cornicione” or pizza crust, is an important part of a pizza too. The Italian cuisine is evolving all the time so is pizza and there will always be room for improvement.
I absolutely love their idea of using seasonal toppings too and they use ingredients sourced from small Italian suppliers but of course not all the ingredients can be seasonal.
I tried the sauteed radicchio pizza with taleggio cheese and pizza with butternut squash, porcini mushrooms and fiordilatte. The combination of flavours with a soft and crunchy dough was divine.
The pizzas also had Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar of Modena on them. The perfect pair! I was there at an evening organized by the consortiums of Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar of Modena.
I tasted 3 types of Parmigiano of different ages: the 18 months, 24 and 30 months. The 18 months old being quite young tasted more of milk and lacked in depth whereas the older one was too ripe and quite strong. I suppose it is a matter of taste but I felt that the 24 months one was definitely more balanced in flavour.
I drizzled the Parmigiano with a 25 years old balsamic vinegar from Modena. It’s sweet and deep taste was fabulous and it went so well with the cheese. I tried a 12 year old balsamic vinegar too which was just as nice and better suited as a salad dressing.
In order to make balsamic vinegar the must is slowly cooked until the volume reduces to about half and then it is aged in 8 different wood barrels (mulberry, cherry, acacia, chestnut, ash, juniper, pear). It is decanted and refilled once a year for at least 11 years.
We finished off with vanilla ice cream drizzled with the 25 years old balsamic vinegar, a perfect refreshing end to a tasty meal.
A presto Radio Alice, I am sure I will be back very soon!
Pizzeria Radio Alice
16 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NT