Launched on Sloane Street in October, Azzurra is an Italian seafood restaurant in London — and the most anticipated restaurant opening yet from Aqua Restaurant Group and international restaurateur David Yeo.
Azzurra is the culmination of Yeo’s extensive travel through Italy over many years, and his love for the culinary culture centred around Sicily and the storied Amalfi Coast. This new opening in London will celebrate his boat-to-table philosophy, using the very best seafood from the British Isles, sourced sustainably from the waters surrounding the island — prepared with Italian elegance and simplicity.
Entering the light-filled restaurant space, brought to life by acclaimed hospitality designer Robert Angell, in conjunction with David Yeo, guests will be greeted by the sight of a striking 16m bar with seating, running the length of the restaurant. This bar comprises a raw bar, filled with the freshest fish and seafood; a glowing cocktail bar where talented mixologists craft an array of signature cocktails; and a pizza counter at the far end.
At the bar, Italian inspired drinks are a must order such as the Italicus Sgroppino with Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, Xīn and Voltaire Champagne Vodka, Elderflower White Peach Sorbet, and Bubbles. Or, try the Garibaldi with vibrant and citrusy flavours of Savoia Americano Rosso Amaro Dolce, fresh orange juice.
Stepping into Azzurra
On sunny days, the floor-to-ceiling windows will look out onto brilliant blue skies and the smart boutiques of Sloane Street, and there will be terrace tables that line the restaurant frontage, beneath a striped awning. English oak timber-topped tables are laid ready for diners with linen and glassware within the azure-toned space, with rich blue banquettes, dappled blue paint and even projections of shimmering water in the sunlight. Hanging from the high ceilings and artfully draped down columns will be a sculpture of netting from English fishing boats — a nod to Azzurra’s dedication to using British seafood — supporting a constellation of decorative crustaceans and fish that have been hand-carved on the Amalfi Coast. A private dining space at the back of the Azzurra features warm wooden walls and ceilings, roughly painted to evoke old fishing boats.
A statement staircase — adjacent to a verre églomisé mirror referencing nautical maps and mythological stories — descends to the bathrooms, giving guests the feeling of going below deck. Penny tiles, porthole mirrors and brass seahorse coat hooks complete the maritime vibe; while deep below is the restaurant’s engine room — the sleek kitchen, overseen by Azzurra’s Executive Chef, Andrea Mura, a Sardinian native.
What about the food?
Options from the Crudo Bar include the likes of Oysters with lemon granita, Zucchini fries with Sicilian lemon salt or a Fritto Misto — evocative of warm days on the Amalfi — and might include calamari, zucchini, sardines and prawns. Along with these options, the menu also boasts Affettati Misti with swordfish pancetta, red tuna bresaola, amberjack ham, seabass nduja; Salmon with ginger and white sesame and Tuna with tapenade, Calabrian chilli, red grapes and toasted almond.
For primi, diners can opt for perfectly prepared pasta plates such as Spaghetti alla Carbonara di Scampi with lightly torched Scottish langoustines, tuna bottarga and lemon; Risotto Gamberi e Zucchine with Sicilian red prawns crudo, zucchini anchovies ‘colatura’ pangrattato; and tonnarelli alla Nerano with provolone piccante, zucchini and basil. Each pasta is finished with a splash of its own specially curated extra fine virgin oil from selected estates in Italy.
Main dishes highlight the stellar selection of fish and seafood from British waters; with the catch of the day served steamed, grilled or Azzurra’s acqua pazza style; Seabass, salt baked with salmoriglio sauce; Milanese style Swordfish with wild rocket rosemary and lemon; or grilled Dover sole with salsa Vergine.
A pizza oven on one end of the bar will fire thin crust pizzas — which includes the Isola, featuring yellow cherry tomato, ‘linguine’ of Cornish squid, Sicilian prawns, bottarga, rocket and lemon zest on squid ink dough; the Astice Davide – Azzurra’s signature pizza with medallions of lobster tail, bottarga and lemon zest (no tomato or cheese); the Flora, comprising yellow cherry tomato sauce, artichokes, Taggiasche olive, spinach; and Azzurra’s take on the classic Margherita.
Diners will choose from a selection of desserts such as Montebianco with mandarin, almond and Italian meringue jam; a selection of homemade gelato and sorbet; or the Limone with Amalfi lemon, ricotta, white chocolate. For those wanting an element of tableside theatre, look no further than Azzurra’s tiramisu as the trolley winds its way between tables.
To discover more, visit: azzurrarestaurant.co.uk
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All imagery courtesy of Azzurra London.