Chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett will open her fourth London restaurant this autumn. A third location for Cafe Murano will open on Bermondsey Street, at a site between two of London’s premier markets, Maltby Street and Borough Market.
It confirms reports from June that the chef was in talks to take over the site, once occupied by the celebrated Italian restaurant Zucca.
Hartnett — who trained under Gordon Ramsay in the late 1990s and who in the early 2000s worked at the Connaught before running the York and Albany in Camden — opened the now Michelin-starred Mayfair Italian restaurant Murano in 2008. In 2013 the chef created a cheaper sister brand, Cafe Murano, which first opened on St James Street, off Piccadilly. She added a second, in Covent Garden, in 2015, which features a next-door pastificio: a pasta “factory,” wine shop, and deli.
In Daisy Meager’s list of best Italian restaurants in London, the “refined and generous” Cafe Murano menu is described as picking the “best from the Italy’s northern regions — like tortelli stuffed with pumpkin or hearty risotto Milanese with osso bucco. Punchy flavours accent simply cooked meat and fish dishes: tender grilled octopus with vibrant salsa verde and borlotti beans, or braised rabbit in a heady rosemary and tomato stew.”
Cafe Murano in Bermondsey will include its most well-known dishes, such as the osso buco alla Milanese and anolini in brodo. Italian aperitivo style cocktails such as the house spritz — made with Aperol, Cocchi red vermouth, and Luxardo’s maraschino cherry liqueur — are designed to be consumed alongside a range of antipasti and cicchetti — small plates such as salt cod fritters served with parmesan and lemon; gnocchi fritti with San Daniele ham; and octopus with borlotti beans, tomato, and salsa verde.
About the opening, Hartnett said: “We’ve been looking to open a new Cafe Murano for some time but have been searching for the right location. We are excited to have found this site, which is where Zucca used to be — it was a restaurant I loved visiting, [chef-patron] Sam Harris is a fantastic chef. The area has an excellent food and drink offering, with some great little spots on Bermondsey Street, and nearby Maltby and Borough Market.
“I’ll be bringing Adam Jay to head up the kitchen — Adam has worked with me for over eight years and he’s currently head chef at St James. Also joining us from St James will be James Cardy, our assistant manager who will be running Bermondsey’s front of house team.”
The new restaurant will have 110 covers including a private dining room for 14 guests. The space will feature an open kitchen, counter dining, and tables which look out onto Bermondsey Street through the site’s vast glass windows.