A new Italian restaurant is opening on the corner of Exmouth market, right opposite Canteen (the building where Dollar used to be). Paesan promises to be a rustic Italian restaurant focusing on cucina povera. Very loosely translated, this means "peasant cooking", or better described by Paesan as "the tradition of using simple ingredients to prepare honest and flavoursome food."
It's a solo venture from Antony Brown who used to run Pasta Brown in Covent Garden and features a menu by head chef Mattia Antonioni, who has come to Paesan via Polpo and the Ivy. The ground floor will seat 70 around an open kitchen in a room designed by B3, who were the designers of Bubbledogs. So there will be a stripped back look inside (exposed brickwork, timbers, tiling, reclaimed furniture - you all know the drill by now) and they'll be using the area outside on the market as al-fresco place (insert "if we ever get a summer" comment here...). There will also be a downstairs bar area with booth seating available.
Food wise, there will be chargrilled sardine bruschetta, roast lamb with castelfranco lentils soffrito, pappardella with wild rabbit ragu, mussels impepata with rosemary crostini, pork involtini with smoked ham and ceps and risotto al radicchio and pecorino. Three are also pizza fritta that will include fennel sausage, taleggio, rabe and chilli; and olive tapenade, anchovy, mozzarella and ricotta.
Thre will also be antipasti and “piccolo” dishes for sharing including charcuterie, or plates like grilled radicchio with smoked mozzarella or Florentine tripe and panzanella. And a weekend brunch menu will include a mortadella and provolone frittata, piadina and fresh fruit pizzelle.
The downstairs bar seats a further 50 and will have a late licence, particularly on Friday and Saturday - opening till "late" (so could be a good late night haunt if you're in the area) and will be serving "cocktails, homemade liquors and spirits". This means a selection of vintage cocktails and Italian specialities including an extensive list of negronis and Martinis, as well as homemade lemoncello and sambucca created by head barman Paris Mattocks - who has also come from Polpo, so we think you should expect some fine late-night drinks at Paesan.