A new Italian restaurant and delicatessen called Il Cudega is to open in London's London Fields in March 2015, in tandem with a crowdfunding campaign for an outdoors space.
From Italian-born Giovanni Brighi (who has lived in Hackney for 20 years), and business partner and childhood friend Luca Gaggioli from Milan, the 45-50 cover site will be housed under railway arches, and serve all-day dishes inspired by the Lombardy region.
Menu options will include breakfast and lunch, and dinner choices such as the classic risotto giallo saltato (thinly-fried saffron risotto), and zabaglione, plus lesser-known specialities such as rustin nega (veal roasted in white wine). There will be an outdoor stall serving to-go dishes too, while the delicatessen will offer wine and products, such as Raspadura cheese (a soft grana padano), slinzega bresaola, and goose prosciutto.
Although funding for the initial restaurant is in place, the duo has also set up a crowdfunding page on the indigogo.com website to raise money for a proposed communal, public outdoors area that the site will share with the businesses in the adjoining railway arches (a nursery and a mixed retail brand).
Aiming to raise £18,000 in total, the team is hoping to build a courtyard named "Fount London", with a fruit and vegetable garden, 30 seats, bike racks, and outdoor food stall. Anyone donating money via the site will receive rewards ranging from recipe cards, charcuterie and cheese hampers, homemade jam, a ceramic plate, cooking courses, and wine tasting classes.
If the team fails to raise its suggested total, it will receive nothing from the initiative. Donations are being accepted until 9 January, via the website.
Commenting on the new opening, Gaggioli said: "Our aim is to introduce Hackney's local community to the pleasures of the traditional food, wine and culture of Lombardy. We believe it's worth it!"
Brighi added: "We feel honoured to be part of such an exciting and evolving community, as is the case in London Fields. As my family has benefited from this area we want to give something back to the community."