Fernandez-Versini to open debut London restaurant

Restaurateur and founder of Cannes pop-up Cosy Box, Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, has partnered with chef Ivan Simeoli, on the opening of new Portland Street restaurant Itaku.

The site will be Fernandez-Versini's London debut, with Simeoli – previously of The Royal Academy of Arts, The Wallace Collection and Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana – devising a menu that showcases Italian cuisine alongside Japanese flavours and techniques, ahead of the January opening. 

Known for his long-standing Cannes film festival pop-up restaurant Cosy Box, now in its 15th year, Fernandez-Versini will now bring his passion for the hospitality industry to the UK capital. 

Head chef Simeoli has over 15 years of training in high-profile London restaurants, bringing his knowledge and experience to Itaku's fusion menu. Highlights include soya milk-poached pork belly with baked umbrian beans; miso Cornish monkfish with flamed pumpkin and Tuscan black cabbage; or Sicilian red prawns with black truffle ponzu and shiso. These dishes will be offered alongside classics such as truffle carbonara and seafood linguine, or sashimi and vegetables from the 'raw bar'. The restaurant's ethos is centred on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. 

The venue's drinks offering also falls in line with the Italian-Japanese theme, with a cocktail menu created by Nicholas Medicamento, previously bartender at The Savoy London: American Bar, featuring traditional favourites alongside signature drinks such as the East to West Manhattan including; Angel's Envy bourbon whisky, Umeshu plum liqueur, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Plum and rootbeer bitter, or a Bloody Itaku, a Japanese twist on a Bloody Mary, with yawatawa isogoro and yuzu juice.

Itaku will be a welcome addition to the Fitzrovia and Marylebone restaurant landscape, open for both lunch and dinner. 

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