Robin Gill to relaunch the Manor as Sorella
Chef and restaurateur Robin Gill will be relaunching the Manor in London's Clapham as Italian restaurant Sorella from late January 2018.
With the aim of "bringing something new to the neighbourhood", the restaurant will close on New Year's Day to reopen as local Italian restaurant Sorella (meaning sister) with head chef Dean Parker at the helm, ahead of another opening in central London later this year yet to be announced.
Gill is owner and director of Clapham establishments the Dairy, which opened in 2013; Counter Culture, which opened in 2016, and until recently Paradise Garage in Bethnal Green, which closed last month after two years citing "congestion and inconvenience" caused by the development of a Holiday Inn Express nearby. The Manor, a larger, Scandinavian-inspired site, opened in 2014.
Gill said his years working on Italy's Amalfi coast at two-Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890 influenced this progression: "I took Dean to this very special place during the summer and we became inspired for change. The ingredient-led approach has massively influenced all that we have done at the Dairy, Counter Culture and the Manor but Sorella will hone in on all that we love about the Italian attitude to cooking and eating."
The group has spent the last year working with Indie Ecology on its share of a farm in Sussex. The farmers take the restaurants' food waste and turn it into compost, which they use to fertilise their section of the land. The chefs and farmers collaborate on a growing plan for produce which then influences the menus.
Gill added: "It has been a dream of mine for years to open an Italian-focused restaurant and now we have a farm that dream will become a reality. We will be working with the farm and our beloved suppliers to create a true neighbourhood Italian restaurant showcasing produce in a simple but thoughtful way."
The menu start with cicchetti and antipasti such as fried olives, crispy anchovies and truffle arancini. Primi will include cuttlefish linguine, cep gnocchi with girolles, and a seasonal ragù starting with venison pappardelle. Secondi will be larger and served family-style using whole cuts from rare breeds and daily changing fish sourced from Kernowsashimi. For dolci: Pump Street chocolate with fennel gelato and a frozen affogato with homemade coffee liquor.
Drinks will focus on twists on Italian classics: seasonal bellinis, a cherry smoked negroni, a bergamot Garibaldi and a house spritz. The key focus in the bar will on homemade liquors like finocchietto, limoncello and a house-made sweet vermouth. The wine list will be small, concise and purely Italian.
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