RayM's review of Strada, October 2007:
Italian chain restaurant recently opened in Oxford, in the (refurbished) premises previously occupied by Porters and (briefly) Studio New York in the BBC series "The Restaurant". Unlike Porters, Strada is a buzz of activity — much more inviting than an empty restaurant.
Strada offers an enticing menu with plenty of choice, including pasta dishes, pizza, risotto, salads, and meaty main courses. I opted for two items from that day's specials, a tuscan bean soup (hearty and delicious) followed by spaghetti with prawns, cherry tomatoes, chilli and garlic. The food was excellent, and the service attentive without being intrusive. If I had to find fault, it would be that there was a slightly longer delay than I would have liked between starter and main course.
Being a work day, I didn't pay much attention to the wine list, opting for water and a glass of house red (there were still three to choose from — the merlot was good). We were offered free filtered water — a nice touch (our waitress offered this as an option when I asked for mineral water, which I thought was excellent customer service).
Olives, starters and main courses for two people came to £40 including my wine, the complimentary filtered water, and an discretionary service charge.