The owner of steak restaurant group Macellaio RC Roberto Costa has launched what is said to be “London’s first gluten, dairy and sugar free Italian restaurant.” Ardiciocca, which in Genoese-Italian, means “artichoke,” will be Costa’s fifth London restaurant. It will open in Fulham this month, with chef Simona Ranieri creating a menu focused on Mediterranean dishes that are exclusively free of gluten, dairy and sugar.
For Costa, the announcement says, “simplicity is key — and the finest ingredients should always be treated with a delicate touch, allowing the natural flavours to speak for themselves.” This ethos, or metodo Costa (Roberto’s method), is “central to both Macellaio RC and Ardiciocca.”
About it, Costa said: “We just need to enhance the flavours and make them shine, the treasure is already there.” The produce at Ardiciocca will be selected from small farms and producers around the world, “with the supply chain carefully traced to ensure that the ingredients are treated with the utmost care and respect throughout their journey to the plate.”
Maturation is also “key” to Costa’s “ethos,” and therefore a focus at Ardiciocca. As the beef and dough at Macellaio RC are left to develop flavour and complexity over time, there will be emphasis at Ardiciocca on fermentation. It is a technique, which in Italy is traceable back to Roman times, which Costa says “transforms the flavour of vegetables, fruits and grains, whilst also increasing their nutritional value through the development of good enzymes, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and antioxidants.” Win-win.
Italian chef and cookbook author, Simona Ranieri, is in charge of the kitchen at Ardiciocca. Ranieri herself is a coeliac “with a love of good food and a passion for nutrition,” and believes that “no flavour, colour or texture should be compromised in the pursuit of healthy dining.”
Starters on the new menu at Ardiciocca will include: Marinated and flamed mackerel, kimchi cucumber, dill and coconut yogurt; and beetroot tartare, mustard and green apple sorbet.
For main courses: Pea ravioli with almond, borage and clam broth; Slow-cooked lamb with kimchi; or Grilled Albenga artichoke with hummus, pine nuts and bottarga or a selection of “creative and nutritious salads.”
For dessert, sugar- and dairy-free options will include matcha tea ice cream with pure chocolate, amaranth pops, and quinoa, as well as Ranieri’s own almond tiramisu.
Meanwhile, the wine list focuses on natural, organic and biodynamic wines, selected not only to “achieve a low allergenic impact on the body, but also to support small artisan traders around the world.” It will of course feature a selection of orange wines as well as reds, whites, rosés and sparkling options chiefly from Italy, France, and South Africa.