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Ex-Caprice director to launch Venetian restaurant in London

11 August 2009
Ex-Caprice director to launch Venetian restaurant in London

Former Caprice Holdings operations director Russell Norman is to launch a Venetian restaurant in central London.

Polpo, a joint venture with business partner Richard Beatty, will open in early October on Soho's Beak Street on the site previously occupied by Aperitivo.

Based on a Venetian bacaro, Polpo will comprise a 55-seat main dining room as well as 10-seat bar and 25 private dining room, with Norman in charge of front of house operations.

The kitchen will be overseen by head chef Tom Oldroyd, previously of Bocca di Lupo and Alistair Little, who has created a menu of small dishes, such as salt cod, marinated sardines, flank steak ribbons and swordfish carpaccio, with prices starting from £3.

Norman, who was previously general manager of Japanese restaurant Zuma, said Polpo would be relaxed and authentic, with small plates consisting of "intelligently-sourced ingredients and wines from northern Italy".

"After 20 years of working in London's top-end restaurants I wanted to open something smaller and humbler," he told Caterersearch.

"I think it's just the right time for something like this because we're going to have a very low price point and at the moment people are looking for great value food, expertly prepared. I'd be nervous if I was opening something more high end."

Downturn is helping smaller restaurant groups to expand >>

Daniel Galmiche to join the Vineyard at Stockcross as executive chef >>

Restaurateurs less gloomy about the future, finds report >>

By Rosie Birkett

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