Enoteca Rosso – Ancient Tuscany comes to Kensington
Showcasing the sumptuous flavours, wines and authentic atmosphere of Italy inspired by ancient Tuscan farms, Enoteca Rosso is an exceptional brand new restaurant which has just opened on Kensington High Street, in Kensington, London.
Interior designers were Defrancesco+Silva, with the fit out being carried out by Italian firm ECLEKTICO LTD, who won praise for their work.
The interior is split into ground and basement levels, with the main dining area being on the ground floor. The restaurant is on a corner site, with the external walls being glazed.
Joao Silva, partner at Defrancesco+Silva who have carried out previous projects for this client said: “For the interior, we wanted the restaurant to transport guests to the ancient Tuscan farms, offering them a flavour of Italy. Warmth and comfort were key to the design and to create a cosy atmosphere and the perfect Italian setting, we used bricks, velvet, wood and brass.
“The building was originally a bank and we have converted the former vault room in the centre of the basement into a private dining room. Also on the basement level, a brand new all stainless steel kitchen was installed.”
The ground floor main 70 cover restaurant features a dining area arranged around a large central bar in red (echoing the ‘Rosso’ or ‘red’ of the restaurant’s name), with the remainder of the space in shades of grey and terracotta.
Joao Silva said: “Within this area, the emphasis is on the wine – with over 6,000 bottles on display in a stunning bespoke facade of triangular Tuscan style bricks lining the full height of the walls in which the wine bottles are displayed. Further similar free standing displays are used to divide the space. This is a particularly dramatic feature of the design due to the exceptionally high ceilings.”
Low lighting emphasises ‘focal points’ of the interior and has been designed to give a ‘museum’ feel in highlighting the wine bottle ‘exhibits’.
Furnishing includes standard size wooden tables, large, long communal tables with bench seating suitable for groups, and communal high tables with stools alongside the bar. A raised platform near the stairs accommodates a more private group of tables, adding visual interest to the layout.
Joao Silva commented: “The idea of the triangular brick layout comes from an ancient Tuscan form of warehouse brickwork, which was used to provide ventilation.
“Sourcing these bricks was a particular challenge of the scheme, as we were unable to find a suitable manufacturer in the UK and had to have the bricks made in Italy.”
The menu at Enoteca Rosso focuses on showcasing the best Italian produce and dishes such as Saffron tagliatelle with lamb ragout and raspadura shavings ; Ravioli filled with broccoli and ricotta, sausage crumbles, garlic and fresh chillies; Slow-cooked pork fillet, chestnuts, pumpkin crisps with grilled polenta and Rosso’s red salad with roast beetroot, mixed sprouts, orange, kale and sesame dressing . Desserts like Green apple sorbet with prosecco and Tiramisu served with a shot of espresso rounds off this homely and brilliantly executed menu.
Wines come from small-batch producers, with the aim to encourage exploration through the list. The menu is divided between 17 wine-making regions across the country offering a huge variety, rare vintages, biodynamic and vegan wines, and many never-seen before bottles in London. Well recognised and established wines can also be found on the wine list including super tuscans and amarones.
Claudio Gelmini who successfully owns and runs Il Cinghiale Rosso Milan, said: “Enoteca Rosso offers that particularly Italian way of eating, tasting and above all talking about food and wine: it’s about encapsulating the attitude and the passion. Italy is just 150 years old, made up of small nations, each of them influenced by the French, Germans, Slavs, Normans, Arabs and the Spanish. This, together with the extraordinary variety of the landscapes and microclimates has created the unique combination of food and wine and that is what we showcase.”
Paola De Francesco, co-founder of Defrancesco+Silva, concluded: “ECLEKTICO LTD are an Italian contractor from Naples who have been based in London for five years. They did a great job on the project.
“This was an important project for us – and we consider it to be one of the best we have carried out so far. It was a good scheme to work on.”