Sood and Bottles - a hidden Italian gem in the heart of Spitalfields
A new partnership between one of London’s most exciting Italian-food pop-ups and a popular wine bar is going great guns in Old Spitalfields Market.
This summer Bottles opened its second bar and joined forces with restauranteurs Sood Family, which until recently was running in Nuno Mendes’ The Kitchens. They describe the vibe as: “Italian warmth with London edge".
(Upstairs at Bottles)
The bar is fast gaining a reputation for brilliant fresh lunches – the menu includes small plates and fresh pasta dishes and there's a large outside area that can seat up to 30.
They’re the latest business to join the Local Buyers Club – offering members 20% off food any time (info here). Sood currently offers a two-course lunch for £15 Monday to Friday and have an after-work happy hour with discounted food and drink.
Sood Family was so named because most of the food they serve originates from Southern Italy and their dining experience aims to replicate traditional Italian family dining. Carlo Deho, who founded Sood Family 18 months ago with chef Michele Pompili (formerly of the Chiltern Firehouse), explained: “I’ve eaten very well growing up in Italy! At lunchtime there most people go home for lunch – mum cooks, your plate is on the table at 1.30pm and its’s always good.”
(Carlo and Michele)
Carlo, who comes from Puglia in southern Italy, added: “Most of the dishes we do come from traditions of poor Italian families and use very old techniques from Michele’s grandma. He has been working in modern cuisine for years so, while they’re traditional, there’s usually a modern twist.
“The atmosphere here is amazing – inside there’s a big bar which is perfect for small sharing plates and meats on the board and a long trellis table that seats around 20. There’s another long table downstairs for more diners and this is an area we use regularly for tastings, private parties and supper clubs. The kitchen is open, so you can see the chefs as they cook.”
Michele, 26, and Carlo, 30, were introduced by mutual friends when Carlo, who was working in commercial law, announced plans to open a restaurant.
Carlo added: “We’re equal partners. As soon as I met him, he cooked for me and it was so good I offered him 50% of the company.”
The seasonal menu includes burrata on jerusalem artichokes, hazelnuts and pickled black radish, truffle and beef bavette bruschetta with mustard and celeriac puree. They hand-make pasta on site (try the candied radicchio tortelloni with gorgonzola sauce and grated walnuts). The deserts are to die for, like a caprese cake made of almonds, chocolate cointreau and orange with raspberry coulis.
Sood Kitchen @ Bottles is zero waste. They use everything they can – including onion skin and bones for stock, frying the skin of beans for snacks etc.
Bottles, which also has a bar in Mercato Metropolitano (close to Elephant and Castle), serves quality natural wines by independent producers and small farms. There’s a big focus on Italian wines but other nationalities are served too – in all around 250 labels to choose from. And all the waiting staff are all sommeliers.
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