Woodhead Restaurant Group — the team behind Portland, Clipstone, and The Quality Chop House — will open its fourth restaurant, Emilia on Friday 26 April in Haunch of Venison Yard, Mayfair, inside the Bonhams auction house.
“We’re particularly honoured to be taking over the restaurant space in Bonhams auction house, having both previously been big fans of Bonhams Restaurant,” founders Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau wrote this morning. Bloomberg’s Richard Vines was first to the news on Twitter this morning.
Emilia comprises a ground floor cafe and wine bar and upstairs restaurant both open six days a week (Monday to Saturday) for lunch and dinner. The cafe and wine bar will also be open all afternoon and, subject to weather, an outdoor courtyard offers seating for up to 20 guests.
Article Design Studio, which designed Clipstone in Fitzrovia, “have given it a light-touch redesign, creating a a bright and airy space reminiscent of the timeless ristoranti of Italy which have been our inspiration.”
The kitchen team is led by chef Stuart Andrew (current head chef of Clipstone and now executive chef of both restaurants) whose menu will be “inspired by the north Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.”
Andrew told Eater that he hoped to encapsulate the quality and generosity of northern Italian hospitality and cooking, “working with brilliant producers to put together a playful interpretation of the food of Emilia Romagna.”
“Although we’ll be using a lot of the region’s amazing produce, such as mortadella, Parmesan, balsamic, Parma ham — and having fun in particular with tortellini in brodo!,” he said, “I’m not trying to replicate traditional dishes but use them as a platform to explore, all while paying respect to their origins.”
“We see Emilia Romagna as the culinary heartland of Italian food and the region has long been an inspiration to us – not just its produce and restaurants but the subtle richness of its cooking,” they wrote. “Emilia is in part a homage to that region and its food culture but also reflective - as we hope all our restaurants are - of what a good modern restaurant should be with fantastic British produce, a brilliant and broad wine list and engaging waiters.”
Upstairs, the menu’s structure will mimic the other restaurants in the group with snacks and antipasti, starters, main courses, plus a pasta section. A table set up in the back of the room will display the day’s desserts and cheeses. Dishes will include ‘smoked eel tortellini in brodo’ ‘roast haunch of venison, beetroot risotto’ and ‘wild strawberry crostata’.
There are two wine lists: One for “everyday wines by the glass and bottle with a slight leaning towards the Italian peninsula but with 60 percent from elsewhere designed to show how well certain non-Italian wines can go with Italian food.”
A second list, “The Auction List”, will include a selection of over 100 “special bottles” sourced with the assistance of Richard Harvey, Master of Wine and head of Bonhams Wine Department.