Former Pidgin team open new restaurant in Clapton

Italian chef Adolfo De Cecco, former head chef at the Pidgin restaurant in Hackney, London has opened his restaurant Casa Fofó in Dalston.

Casa Fofó is a small neighbourhood eatery for those seeking “delicious, honest food”, with a focus on natural and low intervention wines.

The restaurant’s name pays tribute to De Cecco’s own grandfather, originally from the town of Lanciano in Abruzzo, Italy.

The eclectic menu reflects the chef’s Italian heritage, as well as his international culinary background and close relationships with local, sustainable suppliers. Casa Fofó’s kitchen team – which includes De Cecco – is made up of sous chef Sam Coleman and chef de partie Giuseppe Pepe who all formerly worked at Pidgin. The kitchen will use locally-sourced British seasonal ingredients with European and Asian influences.

De Cecco encourages guests to “leave London’s fast pace at the door; slow down, take a seat by the kitchen”, at the communal table in the basement or in the back garden. The six course set menu, priced at £39, changes regularly and features “well thought” dishes, such as middle white pork neck with peanut, Vivid Choi, nori, rice and horseradish or pine with sour cherry and popcorn.

A reduced snack menu (£4 to £6 each) will also be available for those wanting a small bite to accompany the wines on their curated list, all served by the glass.

De Cecco’s past experience includes Michelin-starred restaurants Casa Perbellini in Verona and Galvin at the Windows in London as well as Tetsuya’s in Sydney, which was part of San Pellegrino’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants; and award-winning restaurant Pidgin in Hackney, where he was head chef.

He is fond of looking to the past for inspiration and likes to use ancient methods of cooking, such as the fermenting process. He also believes in an in-house creation process and consequently makes the restaurant’s own charcuterie, craft Ratafia (an Italian fruit liquor, served as a digestif) and grows his own herb garden.

The restaurant’s minimalist, yet relaxed and cosy interior is complemented by its open kitchen, which aims to encourage conversation between the chefs and the guests. The kitchen team will also take part in the service, available to answer any questions and help enhance the full experience.

De Cecco said: “I wanted to create an atmospheric place that feels just like home, both in the kitchen or in the dining area. Diners should feel like house guests enjoying a meal especially prepared for them, based on the best ingredients that day and the mood we are in.”

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