This September, Executive Chef Elia Sebregondi and Director Enzo Mirto will open the doors to Officina 00, a new fresh pasta dining experience near Old Street, London, EC1.
The restaurant will bring together regional Italian recipes with artisanal pastas, prepared before diners in a theatre kitchen.
The collaboration is the result of years of planning from the two founders, who grew up together in Naples. After travelling the world together and sharing their passion for food, they both settled in London, rising through the ranks of Soho House and Kiln, before deciding to open their own venture.
The name sums up the pillars of the Sebregondi and Mirto’s food philosophy: Officina is Italian for ‘workshop’ or ‘lab,’ and 00 (double zero) is the finest grade of flour, used to make pasta.
The menu at Officina 00 will be largely flour-led, featuring freshly baked sourdough, Italian pastries and, of course, a host of pasta varieties, prepared front-of-house in the ‘lab.’ An ethos of creating each dish from its most essential components runs throughout the menu, with plans for flour to be milled in-house in the future.
The venue will also be a space for experimentation, where chefs will craft and develop dishes, using regional inspiration to influence an evolving menu of pasta-based dishes. It is centred around a spianatoia, a traditional wooden work-bench, commonly found in homes and restaurants throughout Naples, where it has been custom-made for the site. Said to absorb the humidity of the pasta, it gives a unique texture which helps sauces to stick.
Each dish tells a story from Sebregondi and Mirto’s time in Italy. The bar menu features fried ravioli, a popular Caprese street food, with a Roman cacio e pepe filling, whilst the house sourdough and olive oil will be made to a traditional Sorrentino recipe, using unfiltered olive oil.
Their signature pasta dish – Occhi is filled with a braised pork Genovese, sour parsley and provolone, which is named after the fishermen, or Genoani, who would leave pork to slow-cook while out at sea. Another signature, Orecchiette with Peperoncini Verde and Almond Pesto has been inspired by a recent visit to the Amalfi coast.
On the same trip to Amalfi, the duo discovered the home-made limoncello which will be served at the restaurant. Alongside this, Enzo has overseen the creation of the drinks menu, which will feature Italian red wine and white wine on tap; a selection of wines by the bottle from a range of both traditional and unconventional labels; as well as a creative twist on classic Italian cocktails including an Americano and Hugo.
Mirto said, “Elia and I have built our friendship around food for many years, sharing recipes and stories, and we are excited to share the vision for Italian food which we have developed.”
The restaurant has been designed in-house; each fitting has been tailor made for the restaurant from selected materials, furnished with tables and chairs made with naturally dried oak from Northamptonshire and H-beam steel, as well as a tiled counter overlooking the kitchen. Antique pasta machines, which Elia and Enzo have spent years collecting, will decorate the kitchen and dining area.