‘Our roots are in Italy, in all the memories and traditions that we jealously keep, in all the passion and attention we give to food and good ingredients.” I’m a sucker for this stuff. And it goes on. “All our pasta is homemade using organic flour, eggs and extra virgin olive oil.

“We buy locally all vegetables, eggs, flour and raw ingredients from organic farms. We pour wine made by artisan winemakers in small production in order to preserve the peculiarity of the grapes and the environment.”

Right down to the clunky translation, I’m soaking up the “slow food” sales pitch. And this intimate semi-basement, small, warm, with its decorative woodpile, its low-key jazz, really feels like one of those felicitous, off-the-beaten-track restaurant finds you’d hope to stumble on in Ascoli Piceno or Ancona.

Any restaurant can get the look and talk the talk but it’s plain to see that these people – from the Marche region – walk it. Three courses here cost £34.50; not cheap. Yet more than fair for this fantastic meal, where our enthusiasm mounts with every mouthful, never to be disappointed.

It starts with a little micro course, three mouthfuls that give us a sense of anticipation: a curl of pesto-filled pasta; the most exquisite slow-dried cherry tomato on a toasted focaccia crouton; a round of beetroot capped with goat’s cheese and hazelnut.

But it’s this starter – “millefoglie di ceci” – thin wafers of what might be baked farinata, layered up with what tastes like a squashy tomato “custard”, strewn with plump cheeks of fondant, baked tomato and oily pistachios – the flavours here are exceptional, true, speaking boldly.

But I’m equally bowled over by the cryptic “uovo and porcini”, which turns out to be a fried duck egg with a surprising taste of toasted peanuts, that sits on soft creamed porcini mushrooms on a slender toasted sourdough base – the essence of simple goodness.

As for this main course “gnocchi cacio e pepe”, well, it’s a stunner. The neatly formed gnocchi owe their pinky-greyness and their smoky sweetness to the chestnut flour they’ve been made with. Under toasted, chopped pecan nuts and impressively erect, crisp-fried sage leaves, a gentle ooze of pecorino cheese sauce slips off them.

In comparison with these dainty bites, the veal ossobuco is a big meaty hunk. Falling off its marrow-filled bone, it exemplifies that winning Italian ability to keep meat quite plain yet bring out its intrinsic flavour.

The rice and saffron purée, crispy kale and thick, sapid slices of roasted chestnut mushrooms are all the embellishment this meat needs.

The service here is charming but I can say with confidence that it isn’t enough in itself to explain my total and utter submission to this tiramisu, which is quite unlike any other by that name I have ever eaten, and, without doubt, way, way better. Heavens, Radicibus actually makes its own Savoiardi biscuits – that’s dedication for you – but innovates by making a chocolate version, cutting them thinly and sandwiching the bitter espresso mousse of my dreams in between, before topping this already fabulous confection with a thick pastry cream that’s dusted with cocoa powder.

This tiramisu is on another level entirely. And this “Zeppola”, a paragon of a choux bun that’s filled with sticky lemon custard, reminds me of the toothsome delights you might track down in the best Sicilian pastry shops.

Here Radicibus serves it with thick pools of whipped cream that blush as pink as damson fool, but the vivid taste and colour is down to a classic Italian favourite: Amarena cherries with their pervasive, marzipan-like presence.

Veal apart, Radicibus serves small, fine dining portions. So it may not be a hotspot for Neanderthal man, perhaps. But this is food that is deft, well judged, carefully and patiently put together, and coordinated by prevailing good judgment.

“Our best hope is that dining with us, you’ll experience the same connection we have with our country through our food.” I certainly felt it.

Joanna Blythman. Guild of Food Writers Food Writer of the Year 2018