London’s restaurant Instagrammers could be set for a brown crab cacio e pepe summer, as buzzy Soho pasta restaurant Manteca eyes up an opening in Shoreditch. Chris Leach — formerly of Sager and Wilde — and Smokestak’s David Carter are expected to take over the former Pizza Express at 49-51 Curtain Road, according to Propel.
At the height of the city’s summer of fresh pasta in 2019, the duo’s Mayfair residency at 10 Heddon Street was seemingly everywhere — at least on Instagram. Photogenic dishes like the aforementioned tonnarelli with crab; sweetcorn ravioli with girolles; and the artful splat of pig’s tail ragù propelled it into its current guise on Great Marlborough Street in Soho, and Carter and Leach clearly feel that the time is right to expand, with COVID-19’s impact on the restaurant property market still keeping some rents artificially low.
In the intervening time, the restaurant’s salumi programme and dedication to amaro have also garnered some attention. The opening would also see Carter expand his presence in the area, with Smokestak serving its chilli brisket buns and other barbecue from Sclater Street, a few minutes away.