Signorelli’s Deli opened on Burleigh Street in 2017 and it’s been a huge success, due in no small part to the hard work of affable owner Alex Signorelli and his team. So when The Grafton started its massive refurbishment and creation of Food Social, it was only fitting that Signorelli’s have a presence there too.
Based on the concept of a town centre square, La Piazza by Signorelli’s is a place to gather, day or evening, for food, drinks and good company. The area, right by H&M on the ground floor, is certainly eye catching with its plush velvet seats and fantastic lighting. It’s family friendly too, with highchairs and lots of space for prams.
Their counter is laden with hot dishes, salads, cakes and gelato. Signorelli’s bread (including their award-winning ciabatta) is freshly made every day in their on-site bakery at the Deli and there are a variety of sandwiches for a quick bite.
Trained mixologists run the fully stocked bar which offers wine, Prosecco, cocktails, beer (with local brewery BrewBoard on tap) and more. BrewBoard’s beer is also available to purchase in cans along with a great selection of Italian spirits and wine. The Franciacorta sparkling wine is excellent and it hails from the Lombardy region, where the Signorellis are from (Bergamo, to be precise).
However, this second location is not a replica of Signorelli’s Deli (I wrote about it here) which focuses on pizza and pastries. La Piazza has a Mediterranean concept so although the place feels authentically Italian, the menu also features dishes from other countries.
The premise is simple – everything is displayed at the counter and you choose what you like. The emphasis is on Mediterranean Tasting Platters, a bit like tapas but the portions are much bigger. The Medium platter includes 1 hot dish and 1 side salad while the Large offers the choice of any 3 items. There is an impressive selection of fresh, filling salads and the Mixed Salad option allows you to create your own combo. It’s take away too, so it’s a handy place for a quick lunch or dinner.
Paulo and I each chose the Large Mediterranean Tasting Platter so we could try many of the tantalising dishes. It really does make a difference to see the food all freshly laid out – makes the eyes bigger than the stomach! The large portions were a welcome surprise, allowing us to share our choices. Except the arancini – no one should share those. They are too good!
I think Signorelli’s arancini are the best in Cambridge. They are Sicilian style with their conical shape and most importantly, they are made in-house. You can’t get any fresher than that! We had them al ragù, featuring a thin, crisp crust and creamy, meaty rice filling punctuated by peas.
I’m not sure if the meatballs were Italian style or Spanish (albóndigas) but no matter, as they were so flavourful. They were slow cooked in a rich, succulent tomato sauce. Would it be wrong to eat arancini and meatballs all day long? Asking for a friend.
The creamy lasagna was made with Tuscan sausage from Signorelli’s Deli and mushrooms. I regularly buy these sausages from their deli (including the truffle ones) and they are really special. All of the ingredients in this dish were high quality and really good value for money!
The Italian seafood salad reminded me of my childhood when we had marinated octopus on special occasions. The salad was super fresh and tasted like nonna made it. Paulo is not big on octopus but he loved this salad.
The stuffed green peppers also took me back. My mum used to make a similar filling with rice and a mixture of mince. So good!
We were very full by this point but that didn’t stop us from sharing one of the little cakes on display. The Bavarian black forest cheesecake was delicious and whilst the cakes at La Piazza are not made on site by their own baker (as is the case in the Deli), it was very fresh and I could tell they use a good supplier.
Paulo had an excellent double espresso, made with Neapolitan style Kimbo coffee. I had the most delightful hot chocolate, made the Italian way and topped with whipped cream. It was thick and rich… a dessert in itself.
La Piazza by Signorelli’s is a welcome addition to The Grafton as well as Cambridge. It has a fantastic vibe, in the daytime and in the evening. I love a place with a nice bar and a fantastic selection of food. This place ticks all the boxes, making it easy to forget that you are in a shopping centre.
Lunch at La Piazza by Signorelli’s is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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