The restaurant will be the first Italian concept in Islam’s AI restaurant group, which currently comprises Indian restaurant Opheem.
Legna will serve a concise menu of eight starters and eight main dishes.
The main dishes will include two seasonal pasta dishes; three pizzas; slow-cooked meat dishes; and specials including the likes of salt-baked sea bream.
Starters will include salt cod fritters; cured meats; and olives, served with focaccia and ciabatta cooked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.
The 70-cover restaurant is located on Summer Row, on the former site of FSK steak restaurant. Islam took over the lease at the restaurant last year, and operated it as Italian restaurant Mi Amore while finalising the plans for Legna.
The restaurant will be retaining the core staff from Mi Amore, as well as increasing the team’s size by 40%.
“This is the culmination of a dream for me and I am so excited about welcoming guests to Legna,” says Islam.
“It truly will be like no other Italian restaurant in the city, both in its vision and its delivery. We’ll stay true to traditional Italian cooking techniques; however, our dishes will have the flair and innovation that diners have experienced at Opheem.”
Islam takes his knowledge of Italian food from a former role at now-closed Italian restaurant Quod.
With two more openings in the pipeline, AI Restaurants is rapidly expanding as a group. Speaking to Big Hospitality last month, Islam set out his goal to establish the company as a group of “iconic city restaurants”, giving Birmingham’s diners an alternative to the city’s chain restaurants.
“I want to push forward or start the fight to keep space for independents,” says Islam.
“It was the independents who changed the face of Birmingham's food scene, and it's because of the independents that Birmingham is regarded as one of the foodiest cities in Europe. I’m starting with these restaurants, but it’s part of a wider campaign.”