Located next to each other, Bodega wine bar and restaurant will be joined by a second site of Ballers pizzeria, which serves Neapolitan pizzas with a Spanish twist.
Bodega is billed a the little sister restaurant to The Priory in Caerleon, which is also owned by the duo, and will specialise in small plates. The menu will be a homage to the pair’s Spanish heritage and will be split into snacks, small plates and sharer plates.
Highlights will include Colchester oyster with pickle and cava granita; sobrasada croquetas with date puree; a Welsh dry aged sharer sirloin with burnt onion butter; and firebrick chicken cooked in a brick oven and served with miso, harissa and romesco.
There will also be a flatbreads menu with options including pear, hazelnut and manchego, and a short menu of sweet plates that will include Basque-style cheesecake.
Ballers, meanwhile, will build on the success of the original Heath-based restaurant and will serve fusion pizza recipes such as the El Espanol, made using San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte mozzarella, manchego cheese, chorizo, salchichon, and lomo.
Martinez is the son of Galician-born Benigno Martinez, who opened Cardiff restaurant Le Monde in the mid-1980s while Pascoe is the owner of Studio Severn, an interior design agency specialising in bars, restaurants and hotels.
“These were two very distinctly different spaces to design,” says Pascoe. “Whilst with Bodega the intention was to create an intimate, atmospheric ambience with design nods to big sister restaurant The Priory; for Ballers it was all about building an identity which represents our cheeky, yet sophisticated pizza brand.
“It has been quite the challenge to bring these to life side by side whilst also juggling client commitments and deadlines, but here we are – almost ready to open and it’s all been worth it.”
Both restaurants will open on 1 December.
“We are thrilled to be getting not one, but two new venues open in time for Christmas,” adds Martinez.
“It’s a chance to build on what we’ve already created at The Priory and introduce a new Cardiff audience to the kind of food we love to eat. We’ve worked extremely hard to assemble a brilliant team and have been working with suppliers and partners behind the scenes to perfect the menus.”