Life is Beautiful is what I believe is the translation for the name of this restaurant. From the lovely team who brings you Mem & Laz, pops up a bold Italian on Theberton Street.
It occupies the same building owned by a man who owns and operates at least three other restaurants next door (including Mem & Laz). The interior of this place is a big undertaking. It is like a labyrinth. There are various entrances which takes you through a deli, bar or corridors. Set over the ground floor and stretching to the lower ground floor, Vita E Bella is an interesting space. The room is set out in a way where you are don’t feel too crowded wherever you sit.
My travel to Italy is limited, with only a magical trip to Sicily some years ago. My impression of authentic Italian food always comes in the form of bona fide Italian telling me what is accurate and what is a cheap imitation. On this occasion, i did not have my usual Italian company, so my experience is based on what I tasted rather than if it demonstrates Italian authenticity.
For our starters, Fitore began with a salad of lettuce, cucumber, red onions and tomatoes with a simple dressing. I have perfectly ripe avocado with tomatoes (bursting with flavour) and creamy mozzarella. For main course, Fitore went for spicy tomato penne with olives and chilli, covered with flakes of parmesan. I had garlicky massive meaty king prawns in parsley, lemon, chilli, spring onion and garlic. So fresh, so tasty. This was not Fitore’s first rodeo here, she had visited before as it’s close to her office. It definitely had her seal of approval or there is no way it would be on the agenda.
The service topped off a great experience with sweet staff, including the smiling fellow next to the oven where they freshly bake the pizza. The menu is large, it has soooo many dishes, so it can be hard choosing what you want as everything sounds so good. Even worse, as you sit there watching plates of food passing you by to other tables, you are tempted to change your choice. It is unfair.
Vita E Bella is now on the Islington regular list for me. I will be back soon, if Mem & Laz doesn’t grab me first.
La Vita e Bella
16 Theberton Street
London N1 0QX
T. 020 7359 7984