Hackney resident of 20 years, Giovanni Brighi has joined with Milanese Luca Gaggioli and chef Paolo Elesbani to bring East London a taste of Lombardy, their home region, with Il Cudega an Italian eno-gastronomia.
If you haven’t come across an eno-gastronomia then think of it as café/deli/ restaurant/ takeaway all with the aim of serving Lombardy’s best dishes to us Londoners. To start they’ll be making all your carb dreams come true as it’ll feature a focaccia bar which will serve up the bread Genovese-style, plain or with toppings including crescenza (creamy cheese), thin layers of lardo or bits of salciccia (sausage).
Not just keeping to the well-known Italian fare, they’re bringing the more unknown dishes to London including Farinata – a dish made of unleavened chickpea flour which you can eat by itself or use it to fill a focaccia, other dishes include Risotto Giallo alla Milanese; Osso Bucco; Risotto Giallo Saltato and Zabione.
If you’re hosting a dinner party or just want a cheese and wine board for supper on Tuesday, (as you do), then you need to check out the charcuterie, cheeses and wines they have on offer all of which have been imported from producers in Lombardy. They’ll be pancetta cotta, slinzega della valtellina (it’s rather like bresaolo), formagella della val sassina, talegggio di grotto and their own branded wine, including Verdea a dry, white, sparkling wine.
Situated in one of the three railway arches being developed off Westgate Street, they’ll be bringing their sense of Italian community to Hackney with a shared outdoor area, bistro-style seating, a gelato parlour and a garden where they will grow vegetables for the restaurant. Italian cooking, carbs, cheese and wine you don’t have any excuses not to go, but if you’re still looking for another reason (you have high demands don’t you?) then 10% of the profits will go to local activities and food-related charities. Eccellente!
Il Cudega: Opens 26th September, Arch 358, Westgate Street, E8, www.ilcudega.com