So you open a restaurant that gets a Michie star, so you open a café along similar lines to make the whole thing more accessible, and guess what, that goes REALLY well, so you plop over to Covent Garden and find a nice spot and, hey presto, you have an empire. A Murano empire.
Now, it’s not as if Angela Hartnett is an unknown quantity: for years one of the hardiest souls in the Guantanamo-style Gordon Ramsay Holdings kitchen network, she ‘escaped’ – with his blessing – and a few cookbooks, TV appearances, etc etc later, you are a global name with a group of venues on the way. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.
But then, talent is talent. A grounding, a heritage, a CV, a brand, all you need is a beautiful business execution.
Murano brought an upscale and homely perfectionism to London’s Italian food offering with king prawn and fennel tagliatelle; scallop and blood orange ceviche with parma ham; puntarelle and chicory salad with pecorino and lardo.
The bustley and poised Café Murano caters for a broad range of needs, from a quick bite to belt-taxing dinner; from truffle arancini and whitebait and Pollock fritti, through to pork collar and sea bream with shrimps and baby gem. Okay, it’s not a ‘caf café’ , no full English or paninis (although I’d like to try one of Angela’s hashes – * bad pun alert) and the bright eclectic interior is a mish mash of sorts, but it is, like all great food destinations, popular.
Can’t wait for the Covent Garden outpost (should that be an ‘in-post’?). They’re planning the soft launch as we speak.
(Covent Garden) 34-36 Tavistock Street, London, WC2E 7PB