This November Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair is staging a six week “Italian takeover” of the hotel’s restaurant and adjacent Donovan Bar by two so-called “masters of Italy” — the superstar German chef Heinz Beck and drinks impresario and “maestro” Salvatore Calabrese. The news comes after chef Mark Hix announced the closure of his restaurant Hix Mayfair — in the hotel — after six years. A spokesperson for Hix said, “Mark’s partnership with Browns came to the end following the end of their ten year contract.”
The six week takeover by Beck of three Michelin-starred La Pergola in Rome will create Ora, an Italian inspired pop-up in the hotel’s restaurant; Calabrese will take residency in the Donovan Bar “celebrating the art of the aperitivo” with menu oriented around both the martini and negroni.
This represents Beck’s first formal return to London since his restaurant at Apsleys in the Lanesborough Hotel, which ran from 2009 to 2013. The takeover begins on 13 November, with a menu that will include signature dishes brought from La Pergola. Dishes will include: Tagliolini with black salsifies, chives and white truffle from Alba and John Dory with curry, beetroots and pesto.
Beck said: “I’m excited to return to London and bring with me some of my favourite dishes created at La Pergola in Rome. It’s an honour to serve guests in such an illustrious hotel and I’m sure will be a fantastic six weeks!” It is unclear whether the chef has plans to remain in place at Brown’s but given the timing of the pop-up an and the sudden vacancy, it remains a plausible outcome for both the hotel and the Beck’s team.
Simultaneously, Calabrese’s residency at the Donovan Bar will see an overhaul of the drinks menu. It will include the famous martini the bartender created whilst in residency at the iconic Dukes Hotel in the 1980s, plus an extensive negroni list including his classic recipe alongside exciting takes on the voguish cocktail, such as the “Negroni Svegliato” and a very special “Vintage Negroni.”
Calabrese said: "For me the martini and negroni are kings, they epitomise the perfect cocktail despite their simplicity they have stood the test of time and have remained forever popular and iconic. They are both close to my heart as the martini helped me to establish a name for myself back in the 80’s when I developed my method for the direct martini and the negroni was the first cocktail I attempted to make at the tender age of 12 for which I received a slap round the ear!"
Stay tuned for more news as and when it becomes available.
Ora will be open for lunch daily from 12 — 3pm and dinner from 5.30pm —10.45pm. Bookings can be made now via this email address or by calling 0207 518 4004. The Donovan Bar is open for walk-ins but booking is available via 0207 493 6020 and this email address.