There is no greater joy in life than sitting down with friends and family after a long day to enjoy good food and good drinks. On that I am sure we can agree.
Such a joy is not just a novelty over in Northern Italy, but a way of life, and that is what has been the foundation of inspiration for London’s most exciting new food and drink collaboration. It is all about sitting down to enjoy an aperitif menu as the sun sets.
As of today, iconic drinks brand, Martini, are embarking on a month long celebration of Italian food. They’ve teamed up with their friends at Clerkenwell’s Luca restaurant to create an exclusive dinner menu, and last night, House of Coco were lucky enough to sample it.
This collaboration is a match made in heaven. We knew it would work well before we even stepped into the stunningly contemporary restaurant, but the launch event affirmed our opinion. Luca is the perfect place from which to combine all that is good about Britain and Italy: the white walled court yard elaborately decorated with twinkling lights and roses has you feeling like you’re in a quiet corner of the Mediterranean, whilst the exposed Georgian brickwork and low-hanging light fittings remind you it could only be a swanky London eatery that you’re sat in.
The restaurant’s head chef, Robert Chambers, has worked tirelessly and closely with Michelin starred chef, Matteo Baronetto to develop four equisite dishes that will both reset your preconceptions of aperitivo and convince you that it needs to become a part of your life. Each dish is accompanied by a cocktail carefully curated by Martini’s global brand ambassador and one of the most renowned mixologists in Italian cocktail culture, Roberta Mariani, alongside Luca’s passionate Head of Drinks: Robert Simpson. The result? A unique menu combining the traditional flavours of Northern Italy with those contemporary of our own city, London.
Veal marinated in chestnut honey, served with English pickled radishes. This is paired with Piedmonte Fizz (Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato, Bombay Sapphire, lemon juice, absinthe and soda). Why? The chestnut flavours in the dish leave a soft taste, so the drink brings a light bitterness that evokes the herbal note in a refreshing way.
Tomato tart with salted green peach and gentleman’s relish. This is served with San Pietro (Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato and tomato skin infused Bombay Sapphire). Why? The tomato skin infusion means notes of the drink match perfectly with the fresh tomatoes in the tart.
Those seeking a bitter option can choose the Pedalare, which is the Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter topped with grape cider and served over ice.
Lettuce leaf with citrus mayonnaise and dried green olives. Course three is paired with Amalfi Spritz. Perhaps our favourite of the cocktails here at House of Coco, it is made with classic Italian Limoncello and herb soda, complimented with the Martini Riserva Speciale vermouth. Why? Both the dish and the drink here are delectably light and refreshing. Palette cleansers, if you like.
Scotch Olive: green olives encased in succulent rabbit sausage meat, seasoned with summer savoury and Calabrian chilli and coated in breadcrumbs. Served with the classic Martini Negroni cocktail: a bittersweet blend of Martini Riserva Rubino, Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter and Bombay Sapphire. Why? The richness of the drink perfectly compliments the earthy flavours of rabbit meat.
If you fancy trying this menu (and we totally recommend that you do) then it is available between 6 and 9pm from now until 4th October at Luca, London. It is priced at £35.
This price includes four courses, a Martini Negroni Cocktail and two other cocktails of your choice. Bookings can be made for 1-4 guests. Click here to book.