Sycamore Restaurant and Bar opens in Covent Garden

23 October 2020

Sycamore Vino Cucina, a new all-day Italian restaurant and bar, has opened in Middle Eight, a new lifestyle luxury hotel in Covent Garden.

Head Chef Paul Robinson has created a food offering that draws inspiration from his time in northern-Italy, using authentic and seasonal British produce. Handcrafted menus are inspired by regional Italian produce combined with contemporary flair, and dishes are aimed at sharing with pizzas, small plates, and a delicious selection of cicchetti (Italian ‘tapas’), as well as larger pasta and ‘secondi’ dishes.

The 89-cover bar offers seating for guests to enjoy drinks from the restaurant’s signature drinks menu which continues the Italian tone. An extensive Negroni section offers not one but 15 varieties of the cocktail. Complementing the Negronis are Bellinis and Grappatinis, as well as signature cocktails including the eponymous The Sycamore (gin, elderflower cordial, grapefruit bitters and prosecco). For those not wanting a cocktail, a wine list championing small-scale producers from the northern Italian regions of Piedmont, Lombardy and Tuscany, along with award-winning US wines, is available.

Head Chef Paul Robinson comments, “We’re really looking forward to introducing Londoners and visitors to the capital to Sycamore. Over the past few months, we’ve been busy sourcing ingredients, speaking to suppliers (both here in the UK and in Italy), and perfecting our dishes – and we can’t wait to showcase the incredible menu we have to offer.”

Des McDonald, the prolific restaurant consultant that led on the project, said: “We are thrilled to be launching Sycamore Vino Cucina. I find even after over 30 years designing restaurants and concepts when the drawing board becomes the reality and the physical manages to surpass your expectation, it's such a joy. Paul Robinson and I have collectively spent three decades exploring regional Italian produce and influences that have been distilled down, with contemporary flair, to our hand-crafted menus. What’s more, the Sycamore bar is an architectural wonder, with a key focus on Grappatinis, Bellinis and Super Tuscans. We hope everyone enjoys the concept we’ve created as much as we do!”

Designed by Tonik Associates, the interiors channel the same aesthetics of the hotel. An open kitchen set in marble overlooks the 112-cover main dining room. The luxurious space features mid-century style furniture and lighting, with cosy booths separated by brass and glass screens. Larger group tables in wood, marble and orange textures create an intimate and sociable space.

Sycamore is located within the new lifestyle luxury hotel Middle Eight, whose name derives from the musical term ‘middle eight’, a musical interlude that differs in character from a song's melody and is used to inject variety through change. The hotel aims to emulate this - adding to the "vibrant, bustling nature of Covent Garden with its luxurious and modern accommodation, while still retaining the heritage and character of the neighbourhood".

Throughout the hotel this ethos is brought to life, and no more so than in the soon-to-open QT – a subterranean bar, performance venue and screening room. Built on the foundations of the iconic music venue, Kingsway Hall, this speakeasy style space will offer a variety of live performances, alongside a carefully curated cocktail collection and a globally inspired food menu.


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