Bancone, Covent Garden

This authentic independent Italian restaurant is from hospitality veterans William Ellner and David Ramsey. Ellner has practically grown up in the restaurant trade – his family opened Joanna’s in Crystal Palace in 1978, which he has run since 2003 – but Bancone is his first central London restaurant. David Ramsey is the chairman and founder of Soul Food Enterprises.

The two owners chose Greenwich based brand identity and interior design consultants Innovare Design to help them realise their new vision. “As a team of foodies, we were delighted to get this commission”, said Lloyd Blakey, Founder and Creative Director of Innovare Design. “William and David’s passion for the project was infectious and has inspired us to create the backdrop to their modern Italian cuisine.”

Bancone means ‘counter’ or ‘bar’ in Italian so the restaurant’s design concept centres on this. In fact, there are over 15m of bar space in total, spanning a cocktail bar and two open kitchens – one hot and one cold. The elegant and dramatic bar feature is topped in white marbled porcelain and the bar front, by Hikitia Surface Design, is finished in ‘Metallo Fuso’ – a ground-breaking decorative surface treatment created by crafting liquid metal, in this case bronze.

Diners can choose to eat at the extensive bar and immerse themselves in the excitement and theatre of the open kitchens or relax at more intimate tables, some with banquette seating. At the rear of the restaurant, two marble topped pasta prep chefs’ tables provide flexible dining spaces for larger parties. And the fun of watching fresh pasta being made in the window means that even passers-by can enjoy the experience.

“With such an authentic food offer at the heart of Bancone, we wanted the environment to add to the sense of Italian discovery,” continues Blakey. “The interior space is crisp and modern, with an urban Italian feel. The overall colour palette is inspired by Italy’s natural landscape – olive greens, natural stone and earth tones. We sourced ‘antiqued’ tiles and added to the essence of Italy by commissioning feature walls of bespoke Venetian plaster work.”

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about this opening, not least that the chef, Louis Korovilas received Michelin-starred training at Locanda Locatelli so his menu at Bancone marries the fine dining flair with contemporary and approachable fresh pasta dishes that are creating a real buzz on social media and amongst food critics.

“This newcomer is definitely a strong contender for our guide to London’s best pasta restaurants” Just Opened London

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