City centre Italian restaurant ideal for pre-theatre, with Turkish dishes also available from the sister restaurant above.
Occupying the same building as its longer established sister restaurant Alla Turca, Alla Italia positions itself as a handy venue for easy pre-theatre dining in the city centre. On quieter evenings customers are invited to dine upstairs in the sumptuously decorated Turkish area with its subtle glow radiating from colourful mosaic lamps. Browsing the Italian menu feels a little incongruous in these surroundings, but it’s a relaxing experience nonetheless, and with little extras provided – flat bread arrives before ordering, prosecco cocktails with dessert – you feel well looked after. Pizza and pasta makes up the majority of the menu – there’s no secondi – but the selection of starters is good, and the antipasto option to share is great value with proper buffalo mozzarella, aged Parma ham and freshly fried calamari. While more could be done to acknowledge the rationale behind the unusual set-up, customers are free to use their initiative and order from both Turkish and Italian menus. The refreshing, silky vanilla panacotta is available in both restaurants and is beautifully presented with jewel-coloured touches of mint syrup and berry sauce.
- High point: Unique dining experience
- Low point: Limited selection of Italian mains
- Notable dish: Spearmint and vanilla panacotta
- Private dining: Up to 40 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Middle Eastern
- Live entertainment: Friday and Saturday 5.30pm–10.30pm, live music
- Capacity: 100
- Largest group: 100
- Open since: 2014
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £15.95 per bottle