L’Artigiano is a new contemporary Italian restaurant in Chelsea serving modern Italian food. Due to open in March, L’Artigiano finally opened its doors in July serving creative interpretations of Italian classics with fresh seasonal flavours. L’Artigiano means ‘the artisan’ in Italian and reflects the culinary techniques and dedication of Executive Chef Ignacio Ruggiero whose dishes are inspired by memories and seasons while remaining true to his Italian heritage.
Ruggiero says: “My philosophy is simple: I use the best possible ingredients to create dishes that touch the emotions and emphasise seasonal flavours and excite the palate. Every item on the menu is meticulously sourced and each plate is designed to intrigue and excite our diners.”
Diners can choose from three menus a set lunch menu; a la carte and an eight-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing. The a la carte menu features four antipasti including Tonno Sashimi Vitellato (Veal, Fresh Sashimi Tuna). There are five pasta dishes including Ruggiero’s signature Gnocchi all’Amatriciana and Tortelli stuffed with native lobster and four main courses including Pancetta di Maialino (Slow cooked baby pork belly) and Triglia Scottata (Panfried Red Mullet).
The thoughtfully curated wine cellar stocks over 150 top quality Italian wines including 30 available to enjoy by the glass from Barolo to Amarone as well us more unusual labels sourced from smaller vineyards in Italy.
L’Artigiano’s founder and manager Leandro Longo’s ambition is to create a contemporary fine dining restaurant with impeccable service and relaxing atmosphere. Longo is a lifelong restauranteur who grew up in Italy and has been restaurant manager at Harrods, La Caricatura and Saddlers both in Mayfair. He established his first restaurant L’Artigiano Pasta Restaurant on Old Street in 2015 followed by launching another restaurant in Mexico. He has now returned to the city he calls home with his vision for Italian fine dining restaurant.
The restaurant was due to open in late March but was obviously delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team quickly moved to offering a take-away menu of handmade pastas and sauces as well as dessert. As soon as restaurants were allowed to open their doors, L’Artigiano opened on 4th July albeit with reduced covers (24) to allow for social distancing.
When asked if he feels confident about opening a new restaurant at such a challenging time, Longo replies: “We are feeling really positive about opening although we know is the most difficult time ever in this sector, we know that hospitality gives people joy at difficult times and confident that there will always be a market for fine dining in London in the long term.” He continues: “The current challenge is to ensure customers feel safe and comfortable, and demonstrate that we have a procedures in place for customers’ and our staffs’ safety.”