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Mother and son put everything into five-star Italian restaurant

Erjon Likcani and his mother Beatrice left everything behind in Italy to set up La Rosetta in Stoke Newington.

When he moved to London four years ago, Erjon, 29, couldn’t speak English. He started working in local restaurants, all the while searching for the perfect spot to launch his family business.

The dream was to bring the flavours of Bologna to Hackney (fresh pasta handmade by Beatrice and Erjon’s homemade pizzas). La Rosetta threw open its doors on the High Street in December 2020 – just two days before a national lockdown forced them to switch to takeaway.

But today the restaurant is open for dine-ins. It’s getting five-star reviews on Google, has a loyal following of locals and the team are throwing themselves into community life.

Erjon said: “I put all my savings into this – 15 years of hard work and mum put her savings in too. In this life if you don’t risk, you don’t have something new.

“We lived all our lives in Italy – we left behind all our friends and family and started from zero. Even working in London for two years, I didn’t really learn the language. But when we opened La Rosetta and I started speaking with customers and suppliers, the language came quickly.”

Beatrice, 51, worked in Italy as a chef for 10 years before joining her son at La Rosetta.

La Rosetta means ‘the rose.’ The restaurant is named after Erjon’s trademark dish – mini pizzas cooked in a small pan with truffle cream, ham, rocket, mushrooms, olive, mozzarella and truffle oil, which puff up like a rose.

Erjon added: “It’s crispy on the outside and full of flavour – completely different to anything you’ve ever tried before.”

The décor is rustic and approachable, a huge wood-fired oven dominates the kitchen and downstairs there’s a stunning garden, which can be covered when it rains. Coming here is like being greeted by old friends – the welcome is warm and kind and genuine.

The pizzas at La Rosetta are Romana-style, huge (50cm) and made with a special blend of three flours, which makes them super light.

Erjon added: “I’ve been studying the art of making pizzas for a long time, changing my recipe to make it something different – thin and light. When you eat our pizzas, you feel full but not heavy.

“I tried a lot of different chefs but nothing beats the way mum cooks. The secret ingredient is passion! When you do something with love and passion, everything will be better.”

Local Buyers Club members save 20% at La Rosetta.


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