Chef Theo Randall will roll out a new restaurant brand called Theo’s Italian Kitchen.
The ex-River Café head chef and silent partner will open restaurants in Battersea and Aldgate, as well as a third in Newcastle; there is already an iteration of the brand open in Zurich, Switzerland. Navigating the complex web of brands and sub-brands, it appears that IHG — owners of the Intercontinental Park Lane, home of Randall’s eponymous fine dining restaurant — are adding Theo’s Italian Kitchen to Theo’s Simple Italian, which already operates out of the Hotel Indigo in Kensington.
While Randall’s restaurant on Park Lane is dubbed ‘fine dining’, his abhorrence of trappings and pretensions — if not the prices associated with them — has kept starry attention away from the restaurant, in spite of its consistently good, even excellent renditions of seasonal Italian cookery: the same cookery lauded across the city at The River Café. It does hold the “Michelin Plate”: a lesser-known category from the tyre company, which honours “fresh ingredients, capably prepared: simply a good meal.”
It follows that the Battersea site will open at the Crowne Plaza — also an IHG hotel — while the Aldgate site will open at the Hotel Indigo. There is no timeline for either opening as yet.
As for the food: the new brand’s website promises “a fresh approach to pasta, handmade everyday in the restaurant”, which readers must presume is not a suggestion that making pasta everyday is remotely new. The menu for Zurich trades in provenance-hype, with a focus on name-checking vegetables, cheeses and other produce ahead of meat and fish, in an interesting reversal from London’s more avant-garde sourcing fanatics. As might be expected from the chef who guided The River Café for over fifteen years, it’s a menu of focused takes on Italian standards; antipasti, pasta, meat, fish, and vegetables. The wine list is exclusively Italian — aside from one Swiss option per white, red and rosé. The question to be asked is simple: will anyone not staying in the hotels bother to go?
Eater has contacted Randall’s representatives for more.