Dalla, London’s newest Italian restaurant has just opened its doors — and it features home-style cooking from Mitchell Damota, with interior design by Spazio Leone and Sicilian artist and object maker Oscar Piccolo.
Coming with the aim to emulate the spirit and warmth of local restaurants in Italy, the opening of Dalla has been an opportunity for its owner, Gennaro Leone — who’s a Naples native — to capture his feeling of home.
His Spazio Leone furniture showroom showcases an intimate knowledge of Italian design with a focus on one-off pieces alongside design classics. This approach to Dalla’s interiors has been used to create something “timeless,” by using classics of Italian design with more personal finds that Leone has sourced in collaboration with Sicilian designer, Oscar Piccolo.
The new space is complemented by a slew of hand-hammered signs, menu holders, and wall lights, while a Stilnovo chandelier — a limited edition, snapped up some years ago from a Milanese palazzo — hangs over the main room. Pedestal round-base tables are custom-made with wooden tops to match other wooden surfaces throughout the restaurant, and a pair of Robert Mallet-Stevens chairs are welcomed with white leather padding.
A Riccardo Dalisi-designed prototype caffeine, made to celebrate 100 years of Alessi, sits in the corner of the room, overlooked by a Piero Fornasetti painting from the 1930s. Small details can be discovered throughout the restaurant in the Caccia Dominioni brass door handles, and the 1950s brass mirror in the bathroom, attributed to Gio Ponti. The overall feel is intended to be intimate, personal, and surprising, yet familiar.
Dalla’s kitchen is headed by Mitchell Damota — ex-head chef at P Franco and Burro e Salvia — alongside Gianmarco Leone, previously at Claridges. A key dynamic of the duo’s menu will be seasonality, with each dish reflecting on regional meals in Italy, which best reflect the seasons throughout the year.
During winter, dishes will be richer and warmer, featuring Northern influences, to be eaten with a bold red wine, in the cozy feeling, low-lit space. Summer will look to the South, with fresh vegetables and fish, to be savored long into late summer afternoons.
You can take a closer look at Dalla above and it’s available to visit now at 120 Morning Ln, Hackney, London E9 6LH.
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