Thursday 6 May 2021, 10:53: This story has been updated with the name of the restaurant and menu details.
Big Mamma restaurant group, which has twice opened London’s most extra restaurant will hope third time’s a charm at its proposed new restaurant in Covent Garden. Planning documents submitted 3 October 2019 detail plans to merge 29-30 Maiden Lane and 15 Henrietta Street to open a huge new restaurant, joining Gloria in Shoreditch and Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia, and over 18 months later, a restaurant called Ave Mario will take over cocktail bar Mabel’s and men’s clothing store The Real McCoy’s.
Big Mamma’s restaurants are best known for a focus on abbondanza, excess, and revelry, sometimes at the expense of food tasting good, and Ave Mario’s menu will be no different, according to Hot Dinners. This Florentine-inspired opening will feature a 60cm tall ice cream cake, because, well, no, no idea actually, alongside carbonara ravioli and a selection of Venetian caviar.
London’s critics and influencers have taken to its charms in their droves, with the likes of pasta in a wheel of cheese, metre-long pizzas, and a lemon meringue pie with quite honestly too much meringue overwhelming palates into rhapsody. The Sunday Times critic Marina O’Loughlin declared herself a fan despite diagnosing much of the food as “crap,” with design and service based on high-concept gimmickry, tons of plants, and balancing a tightrope between exceptionally friendly and sort of obnoxious combining in something she found, overall, “deliciously transgressive.”
Big Mamma intends the combined sites to house 227 diners, open from 8a.m. — 12a.m. Monday through Wednesday, until 1.a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from 8a.m. — 11p.m. on Sunday. The food is likely continue that combination of obsessive Italian provenance and slapstick proportions; it’s been a hit so far, so there’s no reason why Big Mamma would change the game. Abbondanza, indeed — with two terraces for outdoor ridiculousness.