Opening on Tuesday 7th February, 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.
Translating as ‘Have you had dinner?’, the typical greeting from Italian hosts to their family and friends, the venue will be 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 will span 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 will include 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.
Bringing a neighbourhood feel to Victoria, the restaurant will also encompass a deli, with a large selection of breakfast and lunch dishes available to take-away from the deli counter throughout the day.
Located upstairs will be The Drunken Oyster, a striking cocktail bar designed to echo a vintage railway carriage in a nod to the site’s location next to Victoria station, situated on a mezzanine-level above the restaurant.
Overseen by The Social Company’s Group Bar Executive, Jamie Jones, the drinks menu will feature a selection of cocktails inspired by Italian classics paired with British ingredients, including a selection of spritzes available on tap, dubbed ‘taptails’.
The interiors, overseen by Russell Sage Studio, are inspired by traditional Italian family restaurants with vintage light fixtures and deep blood-red snakeskin banquettes which evoke a simple and ‘much-loved’ hangout.
Layers of wallpaper, peeled to reveal an imagined history, endow the space with a sense of heritage, with the pizza ovens located at the centre and forming the focal point where customers sitting at the counter can watch the chefs cooking the pizzas.
“I’m really excited to be collaborating with Paul on another restaurant, he’s an incredible chef who I’m sure will repeat the success he’s had at Social Eating House in Victoria,” says Jason.
“We’ve taken some research trips to New York together and were really inspired by the amazing quality yet super casual, buzzy atmosphere of the Italian restaurants out there – that’s what we are trying to recreate in Hai Cenato.”
Reservations for Hai Cenato will go live on Wednesday 18th January.