Located within the NOVA development in London’s Victoria, the all-day eatery is the second collaboration between Jason and Irha Atherton and Chef Patron, Paul Hood, who also heads up Michelin-starred Social Eating House, and the group’s first Italian restaurant. Translating as ‘Have you had dinner?’, the typical greeting from Italian hosts to their family and friends, the venue is set across two floors, a 60-cover restaurant on the ground floor serving New York-Italian cuisine and a first floor 70-cover cocktail bar serving classic Italian cocktails with a twist and a selection of sparkling ‘taptails’.
The casual New York-Italian style menu spans small plates, pasta and risotto, grills and specials, as well as the all-important selection of pizzas. Created in two large hand-crafted Stefano Ferrara ovens imported from Naples, the selection includes rossa and bianca bases, ranging from the classics to more unexpected flavour combinations such as confit lamb neck, spiced aubergine, ras el hanout, mint and yoghurt. Each month the menu will also feature a special created by a guest chef, a £1 of which is donated to Hospitality Action.
Small plates feature alongside pasta and risotto options. To end the meal, an assortment of homemade gelato and sorbets, in creative flavours of vin santo, amaretto, milk or quince, joins the likes of pannacotta with blood orange and vincotto.
Hai Cenato is decidedly family friendly, with children under 12 eating for free on weekends.
Located upstairs is The Drunken Oyster, an unusual and intimate cocktail bar designed to echo a vintage railway carriage in a nod to the site’s location next to Victoria station. The drinks menu features a selection of cocktails inspired by Italian classics paired with British ingredients, including a selection of spritzes available on tap, dubbed ‘taptails’. These cocktails include Negrosé, The Drunken Oyster’s sparkling interpretation of the star of Italian mixology made using Fords gin, strawberry & tonka bean Campari and Cocchi Rosa vermouth.
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