Latest opening: Unlock

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Napoli-born siblings Arianna and Giovanni Izzo have opened Unlock pizza restaurant in Hackney Wick

Related tags Unlock Italian cuisine London Pizza Restaurant Casual dining

Napoli-born siblings Arianna and Giovanni Izzo’s first London opening is part pizza restaurant; part cocktail bar; and part art space.

What: ​A new pizza restaurant, cocktail bar and art space that has opened in Hackney Wick.

Who: ​Unlock is the brainchild of chef Arianna Izzo and her restaurateur brother Giovanni. The opening marks their very first restaurant in London. Arianna previously honed her skills as a pastry chef at the famed Tarallificio Leopoldo in Naples and has dedicated herself to perfecting the Neapolitan dough, crafting a recipe that involves a leavening process lasting more than 30 hours.

The food: ​Pizza is very much the focus here, with the menu divided into classic and artisanal options. The pizza selection includes a margherita DOP topped with Fior di latte, pacchetelle and fresh basil; truffle cream, mortadella DOP, burrata from Andria, hazelnut crumbs, and fresh basil; gorgonzola lombardo, provola d'Agerola, parmigiano reggiano, crocchè, shaved truffle, black pepper, and rosemary; and aubergine cream with nduja calabrese, provola d'Agerola, fried basil and pacchetelle tomatoes. There’s also a small selection of appetisers such as il crocché (fried cheese and potato balls); and meatballs with fries and cheddar sauce.


To drink: ​The drinks list features wines from small wineries in the Campania region and sparkling wines from northern Italy, as well as cocktails such as a twist on the classic Aperol made with white vermouth, honey and grapefruit juice; a gin cocktail with lychee, lemon, rose and tea cordial; a vodka cocktail with italicus, cucumber, aloe juice and salt; and a negroni with strawberry juice and basil.

The vibe: ​Overseen by the Milan-based Cristina Belfanti and Dario Cattozziand, Unlock is designed with a predominant use of concrete in the interior design that mirrors the character of the surrounding warehouses. Adding to the brutalist is a centrepiece 10-metre concrete bar with a stainless-steel top; while pops of colour, including purple neon lights framing the windows, pay homage to Hackney’s strong art and design community. The restaurant seats 75 indoors, with two semi-private dining rooms offered behind floor-length purple velvet curtains, accommodating six and eight guests, respectively. A 15-cover terrace overlooking the canal is set to open later in the year.

And another thing: ​As well as operating as a restaurant, Unlock is also positioned as an art collective space. The artwork, curated by the co-founders, showcases Italian artists, as well as locally based Hackney artists. The space will host exhibition evenings unveiling new rotating artwork and photography every two months, creating a hub for the local creative community. The restaurant is also complemented by two custom-made chandeliers by Davide Deserti from Galleria Delta Bo, Bologna, and a furniture collection curated in collaboration with the Napoli-based Galleria Arti Decorative Alessandro Malgieri. Each piece is unique, ensuring no two chairs or tables are alike. The collection includes chairs by Pagholz Flötotto from the 1960s and vintage Italian chrome and skai armchairs by Giotto Stoppino for Kartell from the 1970s, giving shape to the open space and incorporating a blend of steel, fabrics and wood materials.

1 Monkwood Way, London, E3 2EG

Related topics Restaurant Openings Casual Dining

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