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Itaku will open on February 17th; Cosy Box Cannes founder Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini to debut London restaurant on Great Portland Street

The highly anticipated opening of Itaku on Great Portland Street has confirmed an opening date of February 17th 2022. This will be led by restaurateur and founder of legendary Cannes pop up Cosy Box, Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, and chef Ivan Simeoli, previously of The Royal Academy of Arts, The Wallace Collection and Michelin starred Osteria Francescana, who will devise a menu serving Italian cuisine, utilising Japanese flavours and techniques.

Well-known for his celebrated long standing Cannes film festival pop-up restaurant Cosy Box, now in its 15th year, Jean-Bernard is set to bring his passion for hospitality and industry experience to this new venture. The central philosophy behind Itaku will be the marrying of authentic Italian cuisine, with traditional Japanese techniques and flavours, to create a diverse and sophisticated culinary journey.

Head Chef Ivan Simeoli has over 15 years of training in high-profile London restaurants, from the Ambassador Hotel in Bloomsbury to The Royal Academy of Arts and The Wallace Collection.  Simeoli will bring his infatuation for combining Italian heritage with Japanese influences to Itaku and has devised a  menu focusing on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, broken down into five key focuses:

Raw | Mazzara Red Prawn (Seasonal Truffle, Truffle Ponzu, Shiso), Grass Fed Beef (Kewpie, Parmesan, Sourdough), Carrot Tartare (Pickled Apple, Pickled Ginger, Beetroot Crisps, Karashi)

Pizzetta | Akami Pizzetta (Tuna Sashimi, Seasonal Truffle, Spicy Mayo, Spring Onion), Trout Guanciale Pizzetta (Brown Trout Guanciale, Parsley Mayo, Calabrian Chilli), Piennolo Pizetta (Piennolo Tomato Extract, Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella)

Primi | Truffle Carbonara (Spaghetto Mancini, Seasonal Truffle, Guanciale), Seafood Tempura Ragu (Handmade Paccheri, Mussels, Clams, Octopus, Tempura Squid), Black Cod Amatriciana (Rigatoni Mancini, San Daniele, Piennolo Tomato)

Secondi | Aged Soy Balsamic Chicken (Asparagus Robata), Dover Sole Milanese (Capers, Kombu, Yuzu), Wagyu Tramezzino (Mustard, Cavolo Nero)

Contori | Green Tomato Salad, Potato Millefoglie, Frijarelli, Chilli, Yuzu

The drinks offering will be in keeping with the Japanese-Italian motif, with a cocktail menu curated by Nicholas Medicamento, previously bartender at The Savoy London: American Bar, featuring traditional favourites alongside signature drinks such as the East to West Manhattan; Bourbon Angel’s Envy, Cocchi Torino, Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu, or Madame Butterfly, Belvedere Vodka, Italicus, Butterfly Pea Tea, Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Rose. There will also be No and Lo options including Shine; NLL Midnight Sun, Darjeeling Chamomile Tea, Orange Flower and Silver and Ume Spritz; Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu, Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake, and Prosecco.

With interior design by Maria Morra, this will be an intimate dining space with 55 covers spread over one level. The white marbled flooring and huge skylight towards the back of the room will provide a sense of openness offset by the dark furniture and gold accents. The art selected for the space will combine high-brow with authentic local talent – a large painting from Mayfair’s iconic JD Malat Art Gallery will be hung in the centre of the room, whilst a Japanese inspired mural by local artist Evan Barlow will snake down the staircase to the kitchen, tying adeptly into the theme.

Itaku will be a welcome addition to the Fitzrovia and Marylebone restaurant landscape, a vibrant characterful destination open for both lunch and dinner, with distinct charm.

110 Great Portland St, London W1W 6PQ | | @itaku