When owners of an Italian eno-gastronomia are aptly called Giovanni Brighi and Luca Gaggioli, you want to fast-track your visit here. ‘Il Cudega’, is a restaurant, wine-bar and deli-come-café, that is wholly committed to bringing slow food from Italy’s northernmost region, Lombardy, to the newly developed railway arches just off Westgate Street, London Fields. The Milanese business partner and childhood friends are offering a selection of charcuterie, cheeses and wines imported directly from producers in the region.
As well as serving as a café for sit down meals, there is also a deli for produce and freshly-made meals to take home, as well as a standalone focaccia and espresso bar. Head chef Paolo will be baking the focaccia daily in-house, and if the smell alone of freshly-baked bread makes you weak at the knees, wait till you try his interpretations on the classics. ‘Zabaione del ciclista’ is the result of replacing Marsala with espresso — the perfect sugary-pep to start your day.
Lest we forget the Italian’s and their wine too: areas like Oltrepo’ Pavese e Valtellina are showcased and indulgently delightful, as can be expected.
Open seven days a week, the space is large enough to accommodate 40 diners inside and up to 40 outside in the courtyard. It also shares a spacious outdoor area with a cool urban nursery and community hub. Moreover — as if we needed more reasons to love these Italians — Giovanni and Luca are giving 10% of all profits towards funding community related activities and supporting food-related local charities.
As Il Cudega operates as a daytime only venue, Giovanni and Luca have begun to host a series of supper clubs focusing on the various regions, ingredients, and wine of Italy’s northern most region. The first supper club was an ‘Introduction to Lombardy’ that saw dishes such as homemade pizzocheri (buckwheat pasta) with gratin of formaggio d’alto alpeggio and rare wines such as Bonarda Dell’oltrepò Pavese Virgilio Cartasegna.
The next supper club, ‘Notte di Gorgonzola’ (Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th November), is another immersive evening both delicious and educational, starting with the opening of a whole Gorgonzola form, followed by dinner with dishes based on various types of Gorgonzola from Luca’s travels around the Lombardy region.
‘Notte di Gorgonzola’ night – 4th and 5th November
7.30pm to 10.30pm
Tickets – £45 per person (includes an aperitivo, three course meal and coffee)
Il Cudega, Arch 358 Westgate Street, E8 Tel: 020 7241 6599 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.