23 August 2014

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Bibo: a slice of Italy in Putney


rebecca.jpgRebecca Mascarenhas (pictured, right) will launch Italian restaurant, Bibo, in Putney on 6 March, adding to her credentials as one of London’s leading neighbourhood restaurateurs. Mascarenhas also runs Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes, Kitchen W8 in Kensington, and Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick.

Bibo will take the site previously occupied by Greg Wallace’s now defunct Wallace & Co restaurant on Upper Richmond Road, close to East Putney tube. Speaking of the location, Mascarenhas said: ‘I am a resident of the area and can see a lot of potential in it. I predict there will be many more openings coming up, adding vibrancy to Putney and other parts of west London, as the East End is in danger of becoming overrun.’

The kitchen will be headed up by chef Chris Beverley, who worked with Theo Randall at the InterContinental for three years, and prior to that at Chez Bruce. Neither Beverley or Mascarenhas is Italian, and this is an important distinction for the restaurateur. Mascarenhas told us how she sees Italian restaurants in London split into two camps: those run by Italians and those that aren’t. ‘It’s hard to put my finger on it, but there is something instinctively different; it’s to do with Italian hospitality rather than just the food’, she says. Bibo will fall into the other camp, with Mascarenhas likening it in style to Zucca, Bocca di Lupo and Trullo.

Dishes at the restaurant will include pappardelle with rabbit-and-Prosecco ragù, fritto misto of squid, prawns and zucchini, and chocolate-and-almond cake. A wine list put together by specialist Zeren Wilson will include a 60-strong, all-Italian selection, with 15 available by the glass. Italian aperitivi, cocktails and grappas will also feature.

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