The restaurant will be called Brutto, after the Italian word for ‘ugly’, with Norman saying that it will be “a place of passion and tradition, where flavour is more important than favour, and where you will often hear the expression brutto ma buono (ugly but good)”.
Posting on Instagram, Norman says he hopes it will open in the summer (with a fair wind) and that although it will be located in a central London area “it isn’t in Soho, Covent Garden, Mayfair, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, St James’s’, Peckham or any of those fancy places”.
Brutto’s menu will be Italian with “a Tuscan accent”, says Norman, using excellent ingredients and the cooking focusing on simple preparation and honest presentation.
The restaurant will draw inspiration from far and wide, including from Instagram, with the interiors likely to reflect the Polpo co-founder’s eye for detail and ability to create charmingly rustic venues.
Brutto marks a return to restaurants from Norman since stepping away from Polpo, the restaurant group he founded with Richard Beatty, in August last year. Norman and Beatty launched the Venetian-inspired restaurant group in Soho in 2009, with it becoming an instant success.
Commenting on the new venture, Norman describes himself as someone who has lost his marbles “because let’s face it, only someone who’s lost them would open a new restaurant in 2021, right?”.