‘Ritorno’ From Restaurant & Bar Concept to Reality
When Giacomo Longo asked me to be part of Ritorno from the very beginning, giving me an interesting and exciting opportunity to bring something new and original to London’s well-established bar and restaurant scene, I said yes right away. From the get-go we have had one clear vision, to offer authentic Italian food, a unique Aperitivo and small plates in the heart of London.
Giacomo after living in London for many years, greatly missed the Milanese style of socialising; which is to savour artisan-style cocktails and delicious Italian dishes in a stylish but relaxed atmosphere. When the opportunity therefore arose to open Ritorno and bring an authentic Italian concept to the fashionable streets of Chelsea, he embraced the challenge and began a new and exciting career in the restaurant business.
Commenting on his career change from oil investment to the world of hospitality, Giacomo said “It’s an incredibly exciting prospect to take something you are so passionate about and turn it into a reality. Italian food is favoured around the world, particularly in London, but Ritorno offers guests something different, a truly authentic taste and experience of the way Italians really dine and socialise. As an Italian, it is of the upmost importance that every detail; from the service, to the décor, to the highest quality of ingredients has been considered and executed to deliver a truly exceptional experience that would be found on the streets of Milan”.
Being his first epicurean business venture, Giacomo sought the advice and support to mentor him through Ritorno’s inception. With my years of experience launching restaurant brands, I join Ritorno as Business Advisor, Restaurant Consultant and ultimately also as Managing Director, as well as working on several other projects soon to be revealed.
This is what The Caterer Magazine asked Giacomo in loving life in hospitality column: What makes Ritorno different from other Italian-style restaurants? ‘Ritorno is not just an Italian restaurant, it is an elegant and premium cocktail bar and Italian kitchen that serves high-quality food and drinks. Italian restaurants in London are generally known for pizza and pasta Ritorno is bringing the aperitivo-dinner lifestyle from Milan to London’. Have you had a mentor along the way, either formally or informally? ‘I am delighted to have the support of Massimo Montone, an expert business advisor and restaurant consultant, and the team to help me in my new role. My family has also worked hard with me to make this happen with our operations and marketing team’.
My role has been to bring this concept to life and align every part of the business and team to meet this goal. After opening the first successful site in Chelsea, 442, King’s Road, in February 2017 – today, after only 10 months, it is already a well-established brand with an incredible reputation within the restaurants and bars industry.
Ritorno’s menu uses only the best, freshest produce. Pasta made daily in-house with organic, natural flours. All dishes are around starter size to allow for sociable family-style sharing, with a selection also available in a larger serving suitable as a main course for one or for the table. Guests can order as few or as many dishes as they wish, from a single plate to enjoy aperitivo-style with a cocktail to a banquet with friends. Signature dishes include Ritorno Parmigiana, a classic aubergine Parmigiana wrapped in a bread crust; Fried charcoal pizza, Camembert fondant; Tartare di Tonno with avocado; grilled Polpo – octopus – with Sicilian ratatouille; and Fassona beef tartare sliders. Among the exceptional pastas are Cavatelli with Langoustine, langoustine ragù, (pictured) Italian plum tomato and Bronte pistachio sauce, and Spinach & sheep ricotta Tortelloni in a lemon butter.