Scarpetta is taking its tantalizing menu and cozy-chic ambiance abroad with its newest restaurant, Sette, at the fabulous Bulgari Hotel London. The Daily spoke with John Meadow, president of LDV Hospitality, to find out more about the brand’s latest expansion.
Why did you choose London for your latest outpost?
London was the ideal first international location for us as there is a real connection there to New York, and it’s the European social and cultural nexus.
Why did you name the new restaurant Sette?
“Sette” means seven in Italian, and this is our lucky number-seven location of Scarpetta. We also wanted a unique name for Bulgari London.
What about Sette will Scarpetta devotees find familiar — and different?
The restaurant is Scarpetta at its core, and carries the brand’s DNA of effortless elegance and an overall high-low balance of elevated comforts. What’s specific to London is the truly international staff, and the unique local and Mediterranean ingredients we get to work with in the kitchen.
What can guests expect from the downstairs bar and lounge, Nolita Social?
Nolita Social is the sister experience to The Seville, our lounge below Scarpetta New York. It’s a seductive and intimate space with an infusion of New York glam and grit unique to London. We have an eclectic mix of local musicians performing live, and DJs playing feel-good classics. We’re proud of our cocktail program, too.
Did you do anything for London Fashion Week?
We hosted a variety of events for London Fashion Week, and have had an incredible response from models and bloggers who want to visit. We’re kicked off with a dinner for Cult Beauty, then did a special Fashion Week event by Jade Jagger. We also hosted the official after-party for the London Design Festival.
The décor is lovely. How did you achieve the look?
For both Sette and Nolita Social, we worked with Thomas Juul-Hansen, who also did our New York design. The approach for Sette was to create the Scarpetta dinner party vibe, but in a more refined fashion. The materials are less rustic than New York, the space is more intimate, and ultimately it captures a nice harmony between the spirits of London and Scarpetta. For Nolita Social, the dream was to bring ’70s New York glam and decadence to life, and we did! We have a collection of pieces from Spanish pop artist Domingo Zapata, and the plush room feels like a grand entertaining salon, with a bit of reckless decadence.
Are any dishes unique to Sette?
We carefully crafted the menu to have the same ethos as Scarpetta’s menu, but we took a lot of feedback from a few locals who guided us on specific ingredients and composed dishes that we should try to refrain from — or incorporate. We learned microgreens are a thing of the past in London, and truffle oil and salted foods are not as popular there as in the States, so our dishes have been modified. Our main courses have rotated with some dishes that we felt would be more desired by the British palate, with more of an emphasis on meats.
Do you work with local farms in the U.K., as you do in the U.S.?
We’ve been excited about the local seafood — it’s spectacular and has enhanced our crudo offerings. My favorite is the arctic char with sun-dried tomato and trapanese pesto. In proper British fashion, we have a local rack of lamb with artichokes, fava, and mint. What’s most exciting about working with British farms is their absolute commitment to sustainability. It’s not just a marketing buzzword; they are fully engaged in making the supply chain better for the earth. Outside of local producers, the proximity to France and Italy has allowed us to carry the brightest, sun-kissed Mediterranean ingredients.
What’s next for Scarpetta?
We’re excited to focus on further international growth. We look forward to opening in other exciting destinations. I’m truly enjoying traveling the world scouting locations.