Quality Wines’ Nick Bramham, one of the most exciting chefs to emerge onto London restaurant scene just before and during the pandemic, will begin 2021 with a brand new roast chicken delivery restaurant. Arrosto, which will launch with Woodhead Restaurants, the team behind Quality Chop House and Clipstone, will start sending out half and whole roast chickens Thursday — Sunday to London postcodes from 14 January.
Bramham told Eater that Arrosto would replace Quality Wines at Home, “as we figured there was more of a hunger for on demand food now, as opposed to meal kits.” Its emergence was facilitated by the Clipstone kitchen in Fitzrovia sitting empty, he said. Writing in the Quality Chop House newsletter, Woodhead co-owner Will Lander described Arrosto as providing “some elegant comfort food in these uncomfortable times.”
The menu, which will revolve around Italian rotisserie-style herb-cured chicken (from Swaledale in North Yorkshire) and potatoes roasted in the juices, will offer a whole or half bird, priced at £24 and £13, respectively. Alongside that, Bramham will offer aubergine parmigiana — “baked until a bubbling irresistible golden brown on top” — as the vegetarian main. Elsewhere, there’ll be Quality Wines’ focaccia, a crunchy winter tomato salad, mixed leaves, and an homage to the restaurant lover’s roast chicken par excellence — the Zuni Cafe salad from San Francisco.
“It’s inspired by some rotisserie chicken I stumbled across in Naples, the highlight of which was the the roast potatoes that sat under the spit, gathering all the chicken juices,” Bramham said. “The potatoes, my god...
“So yeah that’s the jumping off point and there’ll be some interesting snacks and gelato and booze and stuff.” In time, there will also be a range of specials, tapping pandemic zeitgeists like...sandwiches. Dips. And ice cream.
A chicken Milanese sandwich, made with thigh, will debut in due course; so too will chicken spiedini — three skewers of marinated thigh cooked over charcoal, served with Arrosto’s own “condimenti”: mayonnaise, salsa verde, anchovy, or ‘nduja.
“We will also be making our own gelato and brioche for a bit of Italian holiday escapism,” Lander said, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would be going into national lockdown for the third time.
The team is hoping to do high volume and in time extend collections during the day time at weekends. “Key is trying to get as many Woodhead staff back into work as possible,” Bramham said.
In times of increasingly familiar uncertainty, one of the city’s most agile restaurant groups through 2020 has started the new year with a pivot as certain as any to draw in the masses.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Arrosto would launch on 7 January. It will launch a week later on Thursday 14 January.