I can’t believe it has been a year. Really. My gosh.
This time last year, we had just cleaned up from a great bash. All our friends who had supported us during the very boring, long process of opening a restaurant had come to celebrate the completion of the build and the opening of our doors. We ate porchetta rolls, and drank prosecco and felt like we had achieved the impossible. We opened our restaurant.
Anyone who has attempted this knows what we mean. The dreaming, the searching, the negotiations, the applications, the delays. Anyone who has tried this knows how tiresome and how excruciating this process can be. Many times I thought of giving up on the plan. Thankfully there was no back up plan.
That fateful day, one year ago was amazing. What a relief. But what I forgot on that night, was that this wasn’t the completion at all. When I awoke the next day, the realisation that we had to open those doors to the public, who knew nothing of us, of what we had planned, or what we dreamed to do, dawned. This was very much the beginning.
Those first months are tough. As much planning as you do, you are never really ready. You need to work the space, and feel it out to make improvements. You need to tighten those bonds with your coworkers, and you need to get to know your customers. We learned a lot those first months and grew up fast. AA Gill, as much as I disliked your comments then, I have to say, I now agree.
And over this year, the menu has grown from a short list to longer , and we have stretched out into another work space behind us and onto the park. We have served you over 3500 arancini, and 4200 burrata. We now know that the Black Anise Pepperoni Pizza is your favourite, and that the Negroni is your cocktail of choice. We learned that the room is best suited to smaller tables, and that the kitchen stools are made for tall people. We have learnt a lot.
The best thing about opening LARDO – for me – is that I feel so much closer to our fantastic neighbourhood. I have lived here for almost 10 years, and have never felt more welcome and part of this special place. I love that this little restaurant (this little restaurant that could) brings me in close contact with people I have probably walked past many times, but now I know their names.
So what does a restaurant do to celebrate a birthday? We are having a birthday lunch, of course! Offering a special glass of sparkling for this week coming, the menu is here for you to look over. Have a cheers for us.
Restaurants are funny things; they really are a combination of many small details. You knit them all together to hopefully make something special. One of those key details are you. We really would like to thank YOU very much for coming and helping make LARDO what it is.
We love you as much as you love burrata. x