My friend and I visited Strada in Blackheath on a Saturday evening (I would say booking is necessary - it was pretty busy).
The restaurant is decorated and lit effectively, creating a lively yet still quite intimate atmosphere.
The staff were busy, but we were made to feel welcome and valued. They were quick to provide menus and wine lists but seemed to wait to be signalled over for orders to be taken. At first we thought they were just too busy and we were getting forgotten, but it actually seemed like it might be a policy of theirs not to rush customers. When we signalled that we were ready to order, they came over to us promptly.
We had three courses. The portions are not huge, but sufficient and full of flavour. We both started with the bruschetta, which was topped with a lovely, creamy goats cheese. It was probably the best of the three courses. The seafood linguine went down well with my friend, and I had a tasty mushroom pasta dish. The dishes are creative without being over the top with the number of ingredients; and there is a good choice of dishes, including some tempting veggie ones for me.
I'm pretty sure Strada didn't use to put Vs on its menu, and I think that, having decided to do so, they have done it with great consideration. For example, they have assessed which desserts are and aren't veggie - many restaurants either don't bother putting Vs on their desserts or they just apply a blanket 'V' to the whole dessert menu, which makes me worry that they've not thought about things like gelatine.
And speaking of the desserts, it was difficult to choose! In the end we both went for the chocolate fondant - a small, but rich dish that finished the meal off perfectly. It was a marginal decision for me, because the chocolate mousse also looked very tempting!
The bill came to about £30 each, for three courses and two alcoholic drinks - not bad at all. There are several good restaurants in Blackheath, including at least two other Italian restaurants, and I think this encourages Strada to be the very best it can be.
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