5/5/21 - updated with the location and more details
Since leaving the Polpo group, Russell Norman has been busy writing but we've all been wondering when he would make his return to restaurants. Well now we know - he's opening Trattoria Brutto,
The restaurant was first outed by a piece in the Times by Marina O'Loughlin and confirmed by Russell soon after.
If you're unfamiliar with the restaurateur, he was the driving force behind the Polpo group of restaurants. The original in Soho was a proper game-changer for the market, focused on a no-reservation pack-em-in ethos and a menu of small Italian plates. The restaurant was an instant hit and London's not-so-brief "encounter" with restaurant queues had begun. Huge spin-off hits Spuntino and Polpetto arrived soon after.
Here's what Norman has to say about the restaurant in a follow-up Instagram post:
The menu comes from the heart of Italy, a place of passion and tradition, where flavour is more important than favour, and where you will often hear the expression “brutto ma buono” (ugly but good). Conviviality, hospitality, excellent ingredients, simple preparation, honest presentation & good cheer are more important than a slavish adherence to regionality, but it’s fair to say Brutto has a Tuscan accent.
The location was later revealed in an interview with the Evening Standard - and it's a space with a bit of history. Brutto will be opening in Farringdon - taken over what was once the Hix Oyster and Chop House (and also just around the corner from the ex Polpo Smithfield location). It's also going to be more on a traditional Italian menu (no focus on small plates here) and we can expect some Florentine steaks too. We can expect ceramic jugs of Sangiovese in the bar too.
The restaurant and the menu will be developing in the run-up to the launch - we'll have some more concrete info on the food closer to the opening.
More about Trattoria Brutto
Where is it? 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BN
When does it open? August 2021
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