Located on Westgate Street, Hackney, the restaurant will serve dishes from Italy’s Lombardy region and be open from breakfast to dinner.
The menu includes ‘Risotto Giallo alla Milanese’ and ‘Zabaione’ (a dessert made with egg yolk, sugar and Marsala wine), as well as Raspadura (soft Grana Padano from Lodi), Slinzega (a type of Bresaola from Valtellina), goose prosciutto, and Risotto Giallo Saltato (saffron risotto fried into a thin layer).
Communal outdoor space
The restaurant’s founders Giovanni Brighi and Luca Gaggioli are currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to create a communal outdoor space, where they plan to set up a stall to serve takeaway meals.
They explained the outdoor area would be shared with the other two railway arches’ residents – a nursery and a mixed retail space, and provide a community hub, as well as gardens, bike racks and a greenhouse to grow vegetables for the restaurant.
Brighi told BigHospitality’s sister magazine M&C Report that he would like to roll out the concept if successful.
He said: “The dishes we will be serving are not that well-known internationally and because we have good connections we will be using ingredients directly from Lombardy. I think it’s something totally unique and is perfect for London.
“Years ago you could just open an Italian restaurant with a few pizza dishes and people would come but now customers want something original and authentic.”
Brighi added that the restaurant was based on the Italian tapas-style concept of Gastronomia, which involved matching Lombardy wines with small dishes.
He also told M&C Report that the original idea had been to open a site in Switzerland, where there is an appetite for neighbouring Lombardy cuisine, and that he still hoped that would happen. Brighi would also like to open further sites in London if the debut is a success. He said he would like growth to start around “deli corners”, serving dishes to take away rather than fully fledged restaurants.