The 43-cover establishment is the first foray into the restaurant industry for Adafina, which also operates a delicatessen in Abbey Road and has a concession in the Selfridges Food Hall, as well as offering event catering and corporate fine-dining services.
Named after the year in which the Bevis Marks synagogue was built, Restaurant 1701 will offer ‘a new take on kosher food’, aiming to appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish diners with a range of dishes celebrating one of the world's most nomadic cuisines.
Managing director Natalie Salama-Levy, who founded Adafina with husband Lionel Salama in 2006, told BigHospitality: “For Jewish customers, 1701 offers a new take on many old favourites; and for others it offers a window into a new ethnic cuisine.
“The majority of our catering clients are city bankers and we think there really is a gap in the restaurant market for these guys. But we’re not screaming ‘kosher’ - Adafina’s stand at Selfridges has around a 60/40 Jewish/non-Jewish split.”
On the menu
The venue’s kitchen is headed up by Israeli chef Oren Goldfeld, who most recently worked at Nopi restaurant in Soho. Assistant head chef is James Allan, who trained at El Bulli and The Fat Duck; while restaurant manager is Stephane Penkhoss, coming in from Sketch.
Priced between £17 and £19, main course dishes at Restaurant 1701 include Kreplach (pan-fried Jerusalem artichoke dumplings, caramelised onion, pickled Jerusalem artichoke);Palau Kabuli (pan-fried duck breast, confit duck leg, nettle risotto and puffed wild rice); and Adafina (braised ox cheek, pearl barley, chicken confit, coco beans and pickled turnips). Prices on the predominantly French and Israili wine list start at £5.50 by the glass.
Adafina won the contract for the site within Bevis Marks earlier this year. They then refurbished the premises, with Restaurant 1701’s interior still exposing the brick walls of the neighbouring synagogue, which is the oldest of its kind in western Europe.
Speaking of the potential to expand the restaurant arm of Adafina, Salama-Levy added: “That’s the twinkle in our eye at the moment. We’re obviously waiting to see how this works out but we’d love to go on and do a pop-up restaurant outside of London, perhaps in New York or Paris.”
Restaurant 1701 is now in its second week of trading. It is open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday and dinner Tuesday to Thursday. Bevis Marks Restaurant, which previously occupied the space, moved larger premises in January last year.