Ex-Babbo head chef to launch first solo venture in London

Former head chef of Mayfair Italian Babbo, Carlos Scotto, is set to open his first restaurant in Marylebone later this month, offering a menu influenced by his Neapolitan heritage.

Beginning his career aged thirteen as an apprentice at the Michelin-starred Don Salvatore in Naples, Scotto went on to work at Corbin & King in London and then at Michelin-starred Murano, training with the renowned Angela Hartnett, before working at Galvin La Chapelle and as head chef at Babbo.

Following the recent trend of dividing a restaurant into distinct areas, as seen with Hide and more recently Gloria, the 100-cover space will be split into two parts with XR, a 62-cover, casual dining restaurant on the ground floor offering both a lunch and a dinner service, and Xier itself on the first floor, open solely for dinner.

The menu will pay homage to Scotto’s Neopolitan background incorporating inspiration from his time spent travelling in both Japan and in Scandinavia.

Xier’s ten-course tasting menu, priced at £90, will feature Obsi blue prawns served with wild fennel, wasabi caviar and fresh raspberry and rose-cured salmon with foie gras, burnt figs, leaf oil and citrus dressing, and a beef cheek with cabbage, bone marrow, apple and date purée.

A vegetarian ten-course tasting menu will also be available, with dishes such as a stracciatella with pollen, lemon verbena, taro, and organic honey, a hay smoked vegetable tartare, black lava salt, crispy shallots and garden leaves, and a miso soup.

XR on the floor below will offer an à la carte menu with main courses such as Yellowfin tuna tartar with aubergine caviar, garden salad and taro chips, and classics including hanger steak, pickled walnuts, shallots, parsley, and baby aubergine. Dishes will be priced between £15 and £24.

Ingredients will be sourced from organic producers with the restaurant working in collaboration with the Rhug Estate Organic Farm in North Wales.

Scotto said: “It’s always been my ambition to open a restaurant that showcased what I love about food from around the world. Since I arrived, London is a place that has brought me incredible opportunities, so it felt right to open here and to showcase fantastic British produce.”

Xier will open on the 5 March.

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