What: The first site outside of Italy for fresh pasta restaurant group Miscusi, which operates 13 restaurants across seven Italian cities. The business is a certified B Corporation, meaning it is recognised for meeting the 'highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose'. Miscusi says its ethos is 'rooted in respecting the planet through the power of food'. Alongside its restaurant portfolio, it runs a regenerative agriculture project just outside of Milan, to help understand and reverse the effects of climate change through biodiversity.
Who: Miscusi was founded by Alberto Cartasegna and Filippo Mottolese in Milan in 2017. Cartasegna, who was just 26 when Miscusi launched, originally came to London when he was 18 and previously worked as a kitchen assistant at Belgravia’s Oliveto Pizzeria. In 2019, he was named on the Forbes Under 30 list. Miscusi's move to London comes after the group secured €20m (£17m) investment from venture capital fund MIP, and the American fund Kitchen Fund, suggesting that expansion is likely. Another hint of its growth ambitions is the hiring of former director of operations and brand development director at Five Guys Marcel Khan as head of international development. Khan oversaw the growth of Five Guys in the UK until 2018 and has also held posts including CEO of Thunderbird Fried Chicken and strategic advisor to Halo Burger UK so his involvement here looks significant.
The food: While there are a handful of starters and sharing plates including hummus with toasted sourdough, bruschetta, and aubergine parmigiana, the menu is primarily focused on fresh pasta. All options have been created with a nutritionist, with diners able to choose from recommended pasta combinations or create their own personalised dishes. ‘Signature’ dishes include the ‘pacchero tricolore’ of ancient grains paccheri, tomato, burrata, pistachio cream and chopped pistachios; ‘cacio pepe funghi’; and ‘rigatoni tonno e pistacchi’, chickpea pasta with tuna and pistachio cream. Otherwise, diners can choose from a selection of seven fresh pasta options to order with sauces such as cacio e pepe; pesto Genovese; and pomodoro. Prices for a bowl of pasta start at £6.50 and top out at £11.50 in line with other fresh pasta concepts in the capital such as Pastaio and Bancone and slightly lower than the wider Italian casual dining market, meaning it is well placed for growth in the UK market.
The vibe: Miscusi’s look is smart, with a mix of table and banquette seating available; and plenty of soft lighting. Set across two floors, the space holds around 80 covers in total, and also includes both a grab-and-go and a retail section.
And another thing: Regulars will be encouraged to join the M Loyalty scheme, which enables customers to collect four ‘seed’ points for every £1 they spend, and for every 500 seeds diners will receive a £5 voucher towards their next meal in-store. Those who choose a dish from the ‘Climate Squad’ (four dishes that have the lowest carbon footprint), will receive eight points for every £1 spent.
23 Slingsby Pl, London WC2E 9AB