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Member Name: joannabelle88
Advantages: excellent food, good service
Strada is an Italian food chain, much like Bella Italia and Zizzi in terms of the food quality and choice. I hadn't visited for awhile, mainly having been put off by the prices (average pizza £8.80 ish, pastas much the same, with salads being a bit higher) however, having received some 2-4-1 vouchers, my family and I decided to pay a visit to the one in Leamington spa after my graduation.
We visited the restaurant at lunchtime, about 1.30, and it was surprisingly busy considering that it was a Monday in the middle of the month. Despite this, we were shown to a table instantly, and drinks orders were taken quickly and efficiently. The first thing that I noticed upon opening the menu, is how much better formatted it has become. Instead of lots of pages, they now just had a simple, 2 page spread, meaning that you could see all of the menu options in one go.
The menu, as I've said, bears some resemblance to Zizzi and Bella Italia's, with a choice of appetiser breads or olives (around £3.80 for a bread basket), the usual Italian starters of antipasti, pastas and so on. Then you get to the main courses. There's a choice of fish, about 5 options, one steak, a pork dish, a few chicken, several risottos, around 5 salads and then a much wider choice of pizzas and pastas. The pricing seemed to range from £6.95 for a margherita pizza, upto £17 for the steak. Most mains were between £8-10 however. When paying full price, this seems expensive compared to Zizzi and Bella Italia, but with the 2-4-1 voucher, a pizza is costing only slightly more than a fresh shop bought one.
Drinks are expensive, or at least I think so, although they do provide a complimentary bottle of chilled water to the table, which would serve 2 people adequately.
The layout of Strada is good, very modern and minimalist, with a lot of chrome. The only disadvantage is that sometimes it can seem a bit cramped with the number of tables that they fit in.
We ordered 2 bread baskets between 5 of us, and a pizza each, as well as 3 cokes, and one orange juice, and the bill came to £42. Watch out for the optional service charge that they add on the bottom, because they make it look like that is the total. We didn't pay it, prefering instead to give tips to the waitress that served us.
The bread arrived at our table very quickly, and was lovely and fresh. We tried the tomato and pesto flavour, and the garlic and rosemary. Each basket contained 6 pieces, and it was basically a pizza base with the chosen topping. The only complaint would be that you couldn't really taste any garlic.
The pizzas were also served surprisingly quickly, and these were outstanding. Strada use a very thin base, stretched to around 12inches. They are quite sparse on some toppings, although this does seem to vary. All the pizzas were very fresh and tasty.
We didn't have room for pudding, being a lunchtime, but they seemed to be priced around £4-5.
Overall, I would recommend Strada for special occasions, or if you have a voucher, as their food is some of the best I've had from an Italian chain in a long time.
Summary: a lovely place to eat