Did you know that it’s 75 years to the month since one of Soho’s most charming (remaining) Italian delicatessens first opened?
If you haven’t been, you really should: it’s something of a rare old-school establishment in modern-day W1, named after its original owner Lina, “a formidable lady from Genova”, who founded the Brewer Street corner spot back in 1944.
It still, of course, sells authentic Italian produce and makes fresh pasta and sandwiches on site every day. And more recently a contemporary spin-off restaurant opened around the corner on Greek Street.
And that’s the agenda behind the new N1C venture. Housed within a Victorian transit shed behind Granary Square, the rather swankier novel location boasts both deli and restaurant under one roof for the first time.
The deli will be stocked with the very best Italian pantry essentials, from salumi to cheeses, antipasti and fresh pasta; while the restaurant, housed within King’s Cross’ last remaining heritage building, allows diners to enjoy the theatre of the open counter kitchen while they wait for their dishes to arrive.
Booths and long banquette seating will be illuminated by the glow of the same opaline globe lights which first lit the deli at Lina Stores 75 years ago. And the simple traditional menu will focus on fresh pasta, like tasty sounding crab, scallop and prawn rondini, or pappardelle with oxtail ragu, as well as (naturally) both antipasti and secondi, such as whole roasted sea bass with lemon, capers and olive dressing.
As well as the expected decent wine list, there’s an intimate aperitivo bar for pre- and post-dinner snifters, which majors on Italian vermouths, amaro and classic housemade cocktails alongside reinvented classics.
Yet another reason to explore the grid of new streets behind Granary Square.