Yardarm, the popular Leyton deli and wine bar, will take its restaurant in-house for the first time on 25 September after a succession of acclaimed restaurant residencies. Co-owner Dan O’Connor today told Eater that the team is excited to welcome his brother, Joe O’Connor, into the kitchen, which was the plan for the restaurant from the beginning. It will open, to begin with, Wednesday through Sunday, according to Hot Dinners.
O’Connor said: “The original plan when we took on the space next door 2 years ago was to employ Joe (my youngest brother) as our head chef, but he was offered the impossible to turn down opportunity to go and work at Blue Hill (Dan Barber’s seminal farm-to-table restaurant in Tarrytown, New York) just before we were due to open.”
O’Connor was also frank about the benefits of running restaurant residencies: “It gave the road what it needed [...] and gave us an extra income whilst freeing us up to take care of our two young boys.”
Joe O’Connor’s menu promises “good ingredients, cooked simply,” with a sample menu suggesting a focus on letting a showpiece ingredient shine with considered assistance: pig ears with burnt apple; stracciatella with leeks and hazelnut; raw beef with sunflower and parsley; lamb rib with kale and tarragon.
The delay on O’Connor’s appointment led not just to acclaimed restaurant residencies from Kettle and Ryan and, later, Henrietta Inman — now head chef at 26 Grains’s new Borough Market restaurant — but to the opportunity to learn about the pressures of operating such a space. “We designed a central island unit that housed the front of house equipment/waiters station [...] It was clunky and didn’t leave enough room to get around it comfortably so we’ve taken that out. We opened up the kitchen to make a small space feel a bit more spacious.” It also, O’Connor says, builds a sense of expectation around the place, but the team, most of all, is “very excited to get started.”
Yardarm opens for dinner from 25 September. More soon.