After hours: The road to authentic cuisine begins at Strada
Stars and Stripes March 19, 2008
BURY ST. EDMUNDS — How can you tell when you’ve officially been living in a town for a long time? Answer: When the historic building that was vacant when you moved in was converted into a bar that ultimately failed and is now an Italian chain restaurant.
Two years ago, Stars and Stripes reported on the opening of The Cupola, a swish bar where patrons were more likely to be sipping chardonnay than slugging pints. Women in summer dresses were in abundance and football was never on the telly.
Sadly, Cupola could not survive in the ultra-competitive arena of Bury St. Edmunds nightlife against the likes of the So Bar, Benson & Blakes and a handful of upscale pubs.
Enter Strada: an Italian chain restaurant that prides itself on creating an aesthetic far removed from franchise uniformity.
In its Bury location, Strada is a scaled-down affair where patrons dine in low lighting in an unhurried environment. Each Strada has a unique decor, but none so loud that it overwhelms the food, which is always the main draw.
It’s simple fare focused on the very best of Italian cuisine. Each restaurant imports many of its staple ingredients from Italy each day, including extra virgin olive oil, Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella.
The dishes are served with an indigenous flair, hoping to provide diners that authentic experience one would expect in Tuscany, Sicily or Rome. It’s heavy on pasta served in rich sauces, seafood prepared in Italian breading and paper-thin pizza.
It may be blustery cold outside, but there’s an undeniable Mediterranean warmth inside Strada.
There is also a full wine list and a selection of Italian beers.
All told, Strada is a reasonably priced alternative to pub fare and is well-positioned to offer a good night out for family and friends.
See previous After Hours reviews here.
Address: 7 The Traverse, Bury St. Edmunds, IP32 7BE.Phone: 01284 700771.Hours: noon-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-10:30 p.m. Sunday.Clientele: Not snooty, but certainly not clad in sandals.