Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck has announced that he will open a “casual dining” restaurant at Brown’s hotel, in Mayfair.
Beck at Brown’s will open to the public on 16 April offering classic Italian dishes using seasonal British ingredients, in Beck’s signature style.
The chef behind three Michelin-starred La Pergola, in Rome, has devised a new casual dining menu for the five-AA-starred hotel, although some of his signature dishes, including fagottelli alla carbonara, will also feature.
He told The Caterer: “We are doing casual dining with a little modern twist. We will have some of the La Pergola signatures, not too much, and what we are serving is affordable, it’s a place you can come to more than once. The idea is to make it a very good neighbourhood restaurant where people drop in and enjoy high quality food.”
Beck at Brown’s will mark a return to London for the chef, who previously ran Apsleys restaurant in the Lanesborough prior to its closure for refurbishment in December 2013.
Asked about his return Beck added: “I came back to do something nice, something beautiful, not only for months but for a longer period.
“We are looking to have a lot of happy guests coming back always and then everything else is appreciated, whatever comes along, but what we are doing is casual dining.”
The opening at Brown’s follows Beck’s takeover of the space in December 2017 as part of the hotel’s celebration of Italian conviviality. The esteemed chef has crafted the menu to cater for diners seeking a swift lunch as well as a formal dinner or private party.
Beck explained: “These are all new dishes on the menu, the dishes are prepared for here. It would not work to make a copy of La Pergola because I don’t think copies make a lot of sense, so we have done something special for Brown’s.”
Head chef Heros de Agostinis, who has worked with Beck since 2002, added: “Guests will have the opportunity to taste real Italian food with a twist. We really care about the ingredients, we take into account the beautiful farms and produce here in England, beautiful langoustine, scallops, wild meat like venison and amazing lamb. We will bring a real twist on the Italian food using the ingredients from farms in the UK.”
The menu will be divided into insalate and antipasti, primi and zuppe, pesce, carne and dolci.
Among the dishes on offer will be dressed crab with grilled romain lettuce and wild herbs, a red mullet ‘sandwich’ with black olive and tarragon, grilled black cod with a ‘nduja crust’, red peppers and cucumber as well as spaghetti cacio e pepe with lime-marinated langoustine.
Desserts will include an ever-changing formaggi dal carrello, featuring a selection of British and Italian cheeses, served with dried fruits, as well as tiramisu affogato, tarta al cioccolato and sorrento lemon cheesecake.
The restaurant will be divided by ornamental bronze screens creating a bar space, restaurant area and private dining. Design pays homage to the Rocco Forte group hotel’s 180-year heritage as well as the landscapes of Italy, with specially commissioned botanical wallpaper created by interior designer Adam Ellis providing the focal feature.
Designer Olga Polizzi said: “In designing Beck at Browns, I wanted to stay true to the hotels’ rich tradition and history, yet capture the spontaneity and sophistication of Mayfair. You can see this in the beautiful frieze that we have commissioned by Adam Ellis that sits over the listed panelling, which adds both light and richness. Italy represents a huge part of my heritage, so it is wonderful that this is not only reflected in the cuisine but also in the large chandeliers we had commissioned from Florence, bringing to Brown’s an element of Italian flair to its British DNA. The new bar tables from Julian Chichester, mixed with antiques from Martin Johnson and the stunning colossal heads of Emily Young were all brought together to give the restaurant an interesting and stylish finish.”
Beck added: “It’s an honour to have my own kitchen in such an illustrious hotel, with a new modern dining room that reflects the colours of Italy and the heritage of Italian cooking.”