Located on Little Clarendon street, Strada continues to serve up authentic Italian food in a spacious and contemporary environment.
The restaurant is perfect for taking a break from shopping, business lunches or leisurely dinners and can seat 94 guests.
- Large print menu
- Free wifi
Address1-2 Little Clarendon Street
Contact detailsTel: 01865 514 468
Fax: 01865 514 597
Mon - Sat:
11.30am - 11.00pm
11.30am - 10.30pm
Read the latest reviews from our customers
Despite some initial confusion from our waiter who clearly had not been given the memo regarding the concept of these reviews - “there’s going to be A LOT of food for just 3 of you, are you sure guys?”- I was lucky enough to review Strada’s new tasting menu. I was accompanied by my two (incredibly hungry) male flatmates, who were certainly committed to doing all they could to successfully polish off 3 whole starters, 5 mains and 3 puddings between just the 3 of us. Although we ultimately failed to fully scale the food mountain we were presented with, we certainly had a laugh and a satisfying meal.
Being half Italian, I am automatically sceptical of all Italian chain restaurants, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised by a few standout dishes. My two personal favourites, both of which scored highly on flavour and authenticity, were the Orata Al Forno (oven baked whole Sea Bream) and the somewhat heavenly Pistachio Gelato. Generously stuffed with lemon and whole sprigs of thyme before baking, the Orato Al Forno was not only packed full of flavour (literally) but smelt just like my Nanna’s Italian kitchen. Not one for anyone a bit squeamish about bones, but certainly something I would recommend to any proper foodie looking for something fresh and zingy. The Pistachio Gelato was devilishly indulgent and creamy, just like proper Gelato should be. I am of the firm belief that good ice cream makes a perfect pudding and this was so good I let the boys battle over the Affogato and Bunet Pimontese (a chocolate panna cotta) whilst I savoured the Gelato.
There were other stand out dishes that, with a few small tweaks, could also be elevated to the same dizzying heights of the Bream and Gelato. The Quattro Stagioni pizza had a perfectly crispy base, but could have benefited from a more generous ladle of tomato sauce and a glug of olive oil before it entered the oven. Similarly, the plate of Antipasto was perfect for sharing, but the bruschetta (which should have been the star of the platter) was crying out for a splash of balsamic and a pinch of salt.
All in all, Strada’s new menu provides comforting Italian cooking whilst being fairly purse friendly. Win!
We have eaten at Strada several times over the past few years since they opened a branch in Oxford. We like the atmosphere and the quality of the ingredients. So we were excited to test out a new menu on a buzzy Friday night.
Our meal didn’t start brilliantly - they were out of the wine we chose, and the beer we ordered never arrived. Then our poor beleaguered waitress dropped part of our starter before it got to our table.
Things looked up a bit after that. The olives and the schiacciatella were delicious. The antipasto was typically good, because of those quality ingredients - the mozzarella is particularly tasty, though the bruschetta was a little soggy.
The primi plates were delicious. The risotto had a lovely sweetness to it - the bacon tasted like it had been cured in maple syrup, or something, and it worked brilliantly with the pumpkin / squash, and the nutty rice (which was cooked to just the right texture). Similarly, the broccoli in the strozzapretti pugliese was perfectly al dente and a good complement to the lovely fatty spicy sausage.
Next up was pizzas (not one but two - very generous, thank you Strada!) - these were thin and crispy, just as good pizza should be - and again the ingredients were excellent, with more of that lovely Luganica sausage, and some pungent artichokes.
By this point, we were filling up but managed to keep on tasting: the bream was nicely cooked, well seasoned and with a good flavour. Our group was divided over the saltimbocca pork, though I liked it, and we all agreed the sauce was good (a hint of marsala in there with the sage and butter?)
Finally we made it through to the puddings - which were all very tasty, if a bit nutty (but I guess normally you’d have the wider menu to broaden your choice if you aren’t a fan of nuts). The pistachio ice cream was creamy, and subtly flavoured - a very pleasant end to a richly flavoured meal. The affogato was a treat - not something I’ve ever been tempted by before but I would be again. And who doesn’t like a custard pudding? especially one with chocolate and amaretti - didn’t take us long to polish off.
All in all a delicious new menu and we enjoyed trying dishes we wouldn’t normally order - thank you Strada.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with my meal at Strada; I’d give the overall experience a 9.5 out of 10.
Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to rate a chain Italian restaurant so highly, but the Oxford Strada really impressed me tonight. The service was good and attentive without being intrusive, the wine list was just right (we enjoyed a bottle of the Red Sicilian), and the food was also quite good.
The courses that were part of this promotion were about an 8 out of 10.
The starters (olives, antipasti plate, and rosemary flat bread) were all delicious, with my personal favorite being the selection of cured meats. I would comment that the bruschetta needed a bit more seasoning or lift to it (just a hint of salt? Maybe a touch of garlic?), and that the black olive tapenade was far too salty - neither I nor my guest could eat it.
Of the pasta and risotto course, I much preferred the butternut squash and pancetta risotto, which was incredible. The risotto was cooked just right, and the flavors all melded beautifully. It could’ve benefited from a hint of sharpness (maybe some goat’s cheese?), but it was overall lovely. The pasta was a bit too greasy for my personal taste, and it could’ve definitely benefited from a more coherent sauce, like a tomato based one (alla amatriciana, perhaps?). But the flavors were there; they just need to be tweaked a bit more.
The pizza was quite good as well; I was a fan of the springy dough, which seems to be a rarity in England these days!
Of the main courses, the sea bream was a bit of a disappointment; it was probably my least favorite part of the meal, which might be because I eat a lot of sea bream. The fish was dry, and there wasn’t a whole lot of flavor. Just a hint more lemon, rosemary, and sea salt would’ve made the fish shine, but it was not all that enjoyable. If I were to have ordered that off of the regular menu and received the fish that I did, I probably would’ve sent it back.
The pork saltimboca, however, was incredible. Absolutely delicious. Cooked perfectly, just the right amount of seasoning, and paired beautifully with the sides.
The desserts were also incredible, with the affogato being my favorite. The affogato was just the right amount of contrast between textures - it was absolutely divine. The bunet was also amazing, but it didn’t have the same wow factor that the affogato had. I think that the bunet needs something else to add to it - maybe a hint more crunch, or a bit more of complexity? It was a delight to eat, but I think it just needs something else to really bring it up to the level of the affogato. The pistachio gelato was also incredible. No comments there.
Overall, the meal at Strada was completely enjoyable, and I will definitely return to Strada given the rich flavors that came out of the kitchen tonight. I was pleasantly surprised with what a chain Italian restaurant was able to produce; some of the dishes (specifically the pork saltimboca and the affogato) truly reminded me of the many restaurants that I’ve visited in Rome. Definitely keep doing what you’re doing with a majority of the items featured on tonight’s menu.