So let’s talk about Carbonara. There’s the kind that’s served in regular run-of-the-mill British versions of Italian restaurants, and then there’s the proper kind. The kind you’ll find in a back street restaurant in Rome, full of locals talking passionately about life, love, football and how good the Carbonara is. That’s the kind they’ll be serving up in this brand new independent restaurant coming soon to Chester city centre.
I was lucky enough to meet up with Sam and Flavio last week to find out more about what they’re up to on Bridge Street Rows. These guys are Romans through and through. They grew up together – Flav followed Sam to Chester about eight years ago after Italy descended into recession – and the pair worked their way up through the ranks at Sergio’s and Bollicini. Sam became Manager (for seven years) and Flav worked in all departments getting to know the restaurant game from the inside out …
… and now it’s time to do it for themselves along with Chef Salvatore who has been cooking fabulous food here in the UK for thirty years. These guys already have many adoring fans in Chester and beyond. They are warm, kind, passionate and hilarious – a heady mix of everything we need to help make life good again as we continue our journey out of lockdown.
Anyone opening a restaurant for themselves takes a risk, so now seems like as good a time as any to take the plunge. I honestly feel that these guys are going to be super-successful – maybe because of the timing and their infectious personalities, or maybe because they are knowledgeable and passionate about an industry so important to each and every one of us, especially after a pandemic which crippled it for such a long period of time.
But there is something else – and that something else is authenticity. Sam and Flav are Romans through and through – and that means they do not mess about with good quality produce. They are busy sourcing the best ingredients for their no-nonsense menu, and I cannot wait for the cook-off. Produce will be as local as possible – everything they need is right here in Chester’s great larder including the freshest, most delicious super-free-range eggs from Manor Farm in Christleton for that all-important signature Carbonara.
The menu will be small and to the point. Classic Italian dishes using the best local produce, prepared to classic Roman recipes with no fuss. Add to that great service, wonderful wines and oodles of charm from two fabulous chaps who deserve every success.
Watch this space for opening details.