Norma has opened in Fitzrovia, London, under the leadership of Culinary Director Ben Tish.
The restaurant is the first independent restaurant project from the team behind The Stafford London and is inspired by the food and culture of Sicily, with particular emphasis on the Moorish influences of the island’s cuisine.
Norma is innovative and contemporary, whilst embodying warm and welcoming Italian hospitality and characteristic charm.
The restaurant takes inspiration from the grand café culture of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and celebrates the richly influenced cuisine of the land.
Moorish ingredients and produce – including a craftily selected list of Sicilian marsala, passito and limoncello – are championed by Ben, who is well versed and passionate about the flavours of the region.
Housed in a converted characterful townhouse on Charlotte Street, still a gastronomic hotspot in the West End, Norma is split across three floors containing spacious dining areas, a cocktail bar and a private dining room.
A crudo bar takes centre stage of the ground floor, showcasing an array of seasonal raw seafood.
We have yet to dine at Norma but with Ben Tish, one of London’s best chefs, at the helm it’s a safe bet that the food will be every bit as tasteful as the interiors shown here.
A word about the food
The main menu focuses on modern Sicilian-inspired dishes, ranging from anti-pasti and pastas, to larger plates of grilled fish and meat.
Norma champions seasonal Italian produce, currently offering homemade pastas such as Taglioni with sardines, fennel and capers and Spaghetti with almond sauce, Cornish crab, chilli and marjoram or Strozzapreti with a pork, anchovy and orange ragout.
Larger plates include the signature Norma aubergine parmigiana and the likes of Rose veal chop, charred hispi, bottarga and Marsala sauce as well as Spiced and roasted whole Cornish mackerel with almond emulsion and kale.
Upstairs in the private dining room, guests can order family-style, sharing platters of fresh pastas, breads (Panelle and Focaccia) and dishes including Roasted whole Loch Duart Salmon and Spiced, slow-cooked shoulder of Salt Marsh lamb.
The menu also boasts an array of desserts including a Slow-cooked cherry and almond milk panna cotta and a Chocolate, walnut, coffee cake with marsala.
A word about Ben Tish
Ben Tish, Culinary Director at The Stafford London, who oversees the entire food offering for the hotel, including the critically acclaimed The Game Bird restaurant and historic American Bar.
Apart from overseeing the opening of Norma this week, Ben is launching Glorious Game, a new recipe book containing 101 recipes from world renowned chefs and food writers.
Ben is completely passionate about the preservation and protection of game wildlife and is fervent about changing attitudes and misconceptions towards game meat.
It is Ben’s hope that Glorious Game will enable and educate more people into discovering the glorious world of game.
With a foreword by Ben Tish, and recipes from Tom Aikens, Paul Ainsworth, Jason Atherton, Frances Atkins, Pascal Aussignac, Richard Bainbridge, Sat Bains, Nieves Barragan, Neil Bentinck, Jean-Philippe Blondet, Michael Caines, Leandro Carreira, Asimakis Chaniotis, Dominic Chapman, Daniel Clifford, Richard Corrigan, Dan Cox, Killian Crowley, Ollie Dabbous, Scott Davies, Josh Eggleton, David Everitt Matthias, Andrew Fairlie, Paul Foster, Calum Franklin, Luke French, Monica Galetti, Chris & Jeff Galvin, Graham Garrett, André Garrett, Matt Gillan, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Alex Greene, Steve Groves, Simon Gueller, Skye Gyngell, Max Halley, Adam Handling, Henry Harris, Angela Hartnett, Margot Henderson, Diana Henry, Olia Hercules, Will Holland, Simon Hopkinson, Phil Howard, Simon Hulstone, Yoshinori Ishii, Jitin Joshi, Tom Kerridge, Tom Kitchin, James Knappett, Atul Kochhar, Pip Lacey, Guillaume Lebrun, Jeremy Lee, Ross Lewis, Monika Linton, Giorgio Locatelli, James Lowe, Marianne Lumb, James Mackenzie, Lisa Markwell, Francesco Mazzei, Gareth McCaughey, Colin McGurran, Gill Meller, Takashi Miyazaki, Martin Morales, Chantelle Nicholson, Andi Oliver, Joshua Overington, Tomos Parry, Andrew Pern, Glynn Purnell, Ben Radford, Theo Randall, Neil Rankin, Adam Reid, Henrik Ritzén, Jozef Rogulski, Mark Sergeant, Paul Shearing, Tim Siadatan, Vivek Singh, Geoffrey Smeddle, Jun Tanaka, Matt Tebbutt, Stephen Terry, Cyrus Todiwala, Mitch Tonks, Brian Turner, Gary Usher, Gareth Ward, Michael Wignall, Alyn Williams, John Williams, Murray Wilson, Martin Wishart & Angel Zapata Martin.