An Italian fine dining restaurant run by a chef with a Michelin-star-studded CV will close its location in Fulham ahead of a planned move closer to the centre of town, Eater has learnt.
Chef Gonzalo Luzarraga’s Rigo, which opened on the New King’s Road in Fulham in July 2017, is listed as “a new instruction” on the market with at least one major restaurant property agent. An annual rent of £37,500 is cited for potential suitors.
A spokesperson for Rigo confirmed to Eater that the restaurant “is for sale because [it] will be finally moving to town.” They would not disclose where and, on conceding that the Fulham location was in Zone 2, implied that its new home would be in Zone 1.
The restaurant courted significant press attention when it opened 18 months ago, largely because of chef Luzarraga’s form — he’d worked under Alain Ducasse at the French legend’s three-Michelin-starred Louis XV in Monaco, and Walter Eynard, the one-time owner of two-starred Flipot in Piedmont, at his restaurant in Turin. He helped to win Michelin stars at Le Clivie (also in Piedmont) and at Kuchlmasterei Project in Vienna and has also cooked in kitchens in South Africa, Russia, China, Japan, and the Maldives.
It was also his assertion that the offering at Rigo — something he intimated would only be possible in London — was to be defined as a “kitchen without borders” that added to the intrigue; his London debut a convergence and culmination of his experiences all over the world. The menu included the divisive signature dish: sea urchin with bagna cauda, quail egg and fermented milk.
When the restaurant opened, Luzarraga admitted that he had not always rated London as a dining city.
“Until quite recently I did not love London, he said. “I kept experiencing it as a pass-through tourist, and only understood its more superficial aspects.” Working with a colleague for a six month period helped him better understand what he felt was a newfound appreciation for provenance and supply. (In the same interview he cites Isaac McHale’s The Clove Club, and Luca, as well as James Knappett’s Kitchen Table as places he rated in London.)
The most notable review of the restaurant in the British press came via the then-Evening Standard Magazine’s Grace Dent, who hated it. The review, which used significant column inches to lament the amount known about Luzarraga’s past, also included the following passage:
A perilously delicate tart hewn from half a dozen multi-shaded centres of Camone tomato with stracciatella was delicious. It arrived with a story about why the chef loves leftover tomatoes; sadly without a large side portion of STFU.
Check back soon when the new location is confirmed.