Legare, a new neighbourhood Italian restaurant from Jay Patel and chef Matt Beardmore, will open on Shad Thames, London Bridge, this autumn. Pronounced “Le-Ga-Re” and meaning ‘to bind’ in Italian, the restaurant is located a short walk from London Bridge station and the capital’s iconic Tower Bridge, and is a fully independently founded, local restaurant focussed on seasonal ingredients, fresh pasta and a small, well-curated low intervention wine list.
The first solo restaurant venture from Jay Patel (previously GM at Barrafina Adelaide St & Koya City) and talented young chef Matt Beardmore (previously senior sous chef at Trullo), the duo have a simple mission: to bring the much-loved seasonal food and flavours found throughout Italy and the wider Med to London, alongside envious experience earned at some of the capital’s most revered restaurants.
The broadly Italian menu at Legare will reflect the best in seasonal and locally sourced produce and feature a short, changing menu of antipasti and fresh pasta dishes; drawing inspiration from the abundance of seafood, sun-ripened vegetables and fruit that grow throughout Italy, and its surrounds. Jay and Matt will use only a handful of thoughtfully considered suppliers, such as The Ham & Cheese Company, Neal’s Yard Dairy and Kernow Sashimi. The pair, now firm friends, have poured their hearts into the restaurant, with every element - from food, to interior design and branding - all a combination of their shared vision.
The Legare menu mainstay will see fresh pasta hand-made daily in-house, using rich egg based pasta doughs to create delicious dishes such as tajarin with ‘burro e salvia’ ( butter & sage); handmade semolina-based pastas from southern Italy including orecchiette with fennel sausage & swiss chard ragu; and stracci with crab, chilli, garlic, saffron & pangrattato (pasta dishes from £9). There will also be an indulgent whole large scottish lobster taglierini dish created for two to share, that diners will need to pre-order (priced at £50).
However, Legare is by no means just another pasta restaurant; with the remainder of the menu offering delicious antipasti options including fett’unta of goats curd & sobrasada and a daily crudo offering dictated by day-boat fishing and seasonal oysters (from £4). Rounding off the menu will be a concise dessert list including fill-to-order, signature homemade cannoli with seasonal fillings (desserts from £5). A weekly changing specials board will also allow Matt and his kitchen team to develop and experiment with further seasonal dishes.
Accompanying the food menu will be a short and carefully curated drinks list, developed by notable sommelier and good friend Cameron Dewar (currently at Elystan Street & previously Londrino). Options will include natural and low intervention wines from small producers who follow ethical farming practices, with a focus on Italian production and some interesting bottles from neighbouring countries. Legare will also offer a collection of ambient produce for guests to purchase and take home, such as the wines and olive oils used in the restaurant, sourced from across Sicily, Croatia and the wider Mediterranean.
Situated right next to the river and the historic location of 19th century warehouses on the banks of the Thames, the intimate interiors at Legare will draw inspiration from the pastel washed walls commonly seen throughout Italy and 35 covers, allowing for reservations, walk-ins and solo diners. Jay and Matt aim to create an environment that’s convivial, elegant, and true to the way they both like to dine.
Ahead of the opening, Jay comments: “The restaurant draws inspiration from the places Matt and I have worked at and travelled. We are not an out-and-out classic Italian restaurant, and do not pertain to be. Our aim has always been to find the most delicious produce, farmed in the most sustainable ways, from various farmers across Europe - and use those ingredients to create our version of the Italian food we love to eat. Having lived in South London all my life, I feel a sense of pride in opening Legare south of the river.”
On the menu, Matt comments: “The menu is based on beautiful Italian, British and European produce with a strong focus on vegetables, fruit and seafood. We have taken influences from the best of what the different seasons offer throughout Italy and the wider Med, putting flavour and quality first.”
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