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Baccalà reopens with Italian seafood feasts

Founders of Italian seafood and wine restaurant, Baccalà, Ilanit Ovadya and Fabio de Nicola with Elif and Moreno Polverini have announced the restaurant has reopened and will be launching Italian Seafood Feasts to celebrate Christmas, available from the Thursday 10th December.

Opening its doors this time last year, Baccalà (translated as ‘salted cod’) has become a much-loved neighbourhood spot on London's Bermondsey Street, known for celebrating the best in Italian seafood, wine and olive oil with their ever-changing seasonal menus. Having battled through lockdowns and other setbacks this year has thrown, the founders are now excited to welcome guests back to their restaurant and usher in the festive season in style.

True to its Italian roots, Baccalà pays homage to the best quality local and seasonal ingredients as the two couples and long-term friends bring together their years of experience and love of food, wine and hospitality.

Heading up the kitchen is ex-Four Seasons Hotel Executive Chef Moreno, ex-Zuma and Oblix Sommelier Fabio curates the wine list, former La Petit Maison Restaurant Manager Elif, heads up the Front of House team and Ilanit, is responsible for the sleek, pared-back design of the restaurant. Set across two floors, diners are greeted with the impressive chef’s counter, giving a glimpse of the action, stairs then lead down into the warmly lit main dining room with tables overlooking the open kitchen.

Baccalà’s à la carte menu transports diners from the peaks of Valle d’Aosta to the fertile soils of Calabria inspired by the founders’ travels and featuring the best quality seasonal ingredients. Sourcing olive oil from their most trusted artisan producers, Moreno treats it just as you would wine, detailing the tasting profile of each oil and pairing it to every course to bring out the individual flavours.

Wine does not take a backseat with Fabio curating an extensive and diverse list focusing on wines from artisanal producers, who respect the nature and land around them and many of which are organic or biodynamic. The restaurant has also become known for its namesake, salted cod brought straight from Italy which is served in various ways. Along with their seasonal menus, Baccalà always have a rotation of daily specials using the freshest produce from the market.

To celebrate the festive season following lockdown, Baccalà’s Italian seafood feasts are paired with olive oil and wine taking guests on a multi-course journey through all twenty regions of Italy. To kick off, diners can tuck into sourdough bread and artisanal guttiau flat bread, a Sardinian delicacy, to be dipped in Baccalà’s signature Frantoio del Piceno olive oil, known for its intense herbaceous flavours.

To follow, there’s yellowtail tartare with artichokes & nebbbiolo grape reduction, the much-loved whipped salted cod & puntarelle and pickled sardines, Porthilly oyster butter & corn bread, each to be paired with the delicate, well-rounded flavours of Particella 34, an olive oil produced in the Sicilian hilltop city of Ragusa.

To follow, plates of saffron risotto topped with indulgent bone marrow & baby calamari will feed their way from the kitchen to expectant tables ready to be drizzled with the fruity sweetness of the Franci Bio Organic olive oil.

For the main event, the traditional Christmas roast is given the Baccalà treatment with oven baked turbot served with pumpkin, radicchio tardive & ratte potato to be finished with the lightly spiced Bosana olive oil from the seaside city of Alghero. To finish, a chestnut & tonka bean lava cake with refreshing pomegranate sorbet, the ideal end to an Italian feast.

For those more comfortable remaining at home or looking for a gift for a loved one, Baccalà will also offer decadent Christmas hampers filled with the finest Italian produce as well as wine boxes and feasting menus for two, available with an additional bespoke wine pairing.

For oenophiles wanting to stock up on wine for the Christmas season, Fabio has put together three wine boxes, each tailored for the most important days of the festive calendar, offering the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve selections.

In addition, Baccalà has launched an online shop which showcases long-standing suppliers sharing their philosophy on the quality and sustainability of produce. On offer are the freshest ingredients directly from farm to table as well as store cupboard treats such as Regina dei Sibillini pasta made with ancient grains in the mountains in the Le Marche region, a selection of olive oils, preserves from a family-run farm in the Abruzzo region and wine, all available for nationwide delivery.

Head Chef Moreno said, ‘It has always been our dream to open a restaurant and at the end of last year we finally managed to in Bermondsey, a place we love, but what a year it has been, we’ve been completely battered but our customers have given us the strength to carry on!

'We can’t wait to welcome them back through our doors and have created a special Christmas menu to celebrate. For me, Christmas has always been a time to come together with friends and family over food and wine, so we wanted to recreate that in the restaurant with friends old and new.’