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Roberto Costa launches London’s first free-from Italian restaurant

Roberto Costa and the team behind the Italian butchery with tables, Macellaio RC, are opening their fifth London restaurant, but this time there’s no steak in sight.

Ardiciocca, meaning artichoke in Genoese-Italian, launches in Fulham this April, with chef Simona Ranieri offering beautiful Mediterranean cuisine that is entirely gluten, dairy and sugar free.

For founder Roberto Costa, simplicity is key, and the finest ingredients should always be treated with a delicate touch, allowing the natural flavours to speak for themselves. This ethos, or Metodo Costa, is central to both Macellaio RC and Ardiciocca. In Roberto’s own words, “We just need to enhance the flavours and make them shine, the treasure is already there.”

The produce at Ardiciocca is selected from small farms and producers around the world, with the supply chain carefully traced to ensure that the ingredients are treated with the utmost care and respect throughout their journey to the plate.

Maturation is also key to the Metodo Costa, and therefore a focus at Ardiciocca. Much as the beef and dough at Macellaio RC is left to develop flavour and complexity over time, the emphasis at Ardiciocca is on fermentation. This technique, which in Italy dates back to Roman times, transforms the flavour of vegetables, fruits and grains, whilst also increasing their nutritional value through the development of good enzymes, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and antioxidants.

Taking the helm in the Ardiciocca kitchen is the renowned Italian chef and cookbook author, Simona Ranieri. A coeliac with a love of good food and a passion for nutrition, Simona believes that no flavour, colour or texture should be compromised in the pursuit of healthy dining. Embracing the Metodo Costa, she has created a menu with starters including Marinated and flamed mackerel, kimchi cucumber, dill and coconut yogurt and Beetroot tartare, mustard and green apple sorbet.

For mains, guests can enjoy Pea ravioli with almond, borage and clam broth; Slow-cooked lamb with kimchi; Grilled Albenga artichoke with hummus, pine nuts and bottarga or a selection of creative and nutritious salads.

To finish, delicious sugar and dairy free desserts include Matcha tea ice cream with pure chocolate, amaranth pops, and quinoa, and Simona’s signature Almond tiramisu.

The wine list focuses on natural, organic and biodynamic wines, selected not only to achieve a low allergenic impact on the body, but also to support small artisan traders around the world. A wonderful range of lesser-known orange wines sits alongside an array of red, white, rosé and sparkling options from Italy, France, South Africa and beyond.

With the combined knowledge and passion of Roberto Costa and Simona Ranieri, Ardiciocca guarantees healthy and delicious fare, inspired by the renowned Mediterranean diet and Italian food culture, and served in a bright, airy and welcoming space in the heart of Fulham.