Obsession is how Canary Wharf’s new restaurateurs described their relationship with pasta.
“I would eat is for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said co-founder of Scarpetta Patrick Philion.
The investment banker launched the business with friend Uberto Jasson D’Oria in June 2014 and their philosophy is authentic Italian fare served up in a fast food style.
Their second site is due to open on Saturday, August 12, on the corner of Canada Square offering freshly made pasta dishes for £5 to the lunchtime hoards, Also on the menu are pastries, salads and soups.
“There is nowhere else in London I would rather be,” said Patrick who works at HSBC on the estate and is well aware of the high standard demanded by diners here.
To woo the Docklands elite they have sourced best coffee in the world – grown in Florence and ground into their two house blends. Coffee will be served from 6.30am alongside freshly scrambled eggs at the neighbouring counter.
Come 11am and the area transform into a lunchtime panini and pasta bar. And at 3pm it reinvents itself again, adding a spritz bar serving their own brand of Negroni as well as Aeperol until 10pm.
“As the day evolves, Scarpetta evolves,” said Patrick, 35. “But the pasta is the star. We put on a show and people can watch it being made and taste it raw.”
The pasta is made with Semola flour shipped over from Uberto’s mother’s farm in the south of Italy and crafted into different shapes in either white or wholemeal each day, topped with a changing menu of sauces such as zucchini (courgette) and prawns.
“Overcooking and too much cream,” are the biggest mistakes we Brits make when it comes to the Italian dish said Uberto.
The 30-year-old gave up a job in a tech start-up to launch the first restaurant in Cannon Street in the City and it now serves around 1,000 customers a day.
“We are both extremely proud Italians and really complement each other when it comes to running the business,” said Patrick who was raised in Parma and tapped into his financial knowledge and love of interior design to help craft the new 68-seater restaurant.
“We really believe what we offer is unique in London and we really want to tap into the Italian community here in Canary Wharf which is huge.”
Uberto, who grew up in Milan and oversees the day-to-day running of the business, said: “Patrick throws ideas at me that he has gathered on his travels, like new ingredients trends, and then I come up with ways to make them work.
“You won’t find any modified or English-style dishes here though, they are all true Italian recipes. Don’t ask us for pasta and chicken because that is anti-Italian and always will be.”
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