Notting Hill sensation heads for NYC

The mystery team behind rising star 108 Garage in Notting Hill – chef Chris Denney and owner Luca Longobardi – plan to launch another restaurant in New York in September, with further US openings to follow.

Denney told The Times he is flying to New York every Saturday night and back to London for service on Tuesday while he sets up the new venture, in a former laundromat on the Lower East Side. He intends to appoint a British chef, then move on to projects in LA and Miami.

108 Garage opened without fanfare behind a modest shopfront off the Portobello market late last year, and has won ecstatic reviews since the New Year for Denney’s “eye-popping” cuisine. Following a rave from Giles Coren in The Times, it is now booked until April.

The story behind it also whets the appetite. Longobardi, an Italian former banker, was accused of working for the mafia by the Brazilian police, and wrote a book about the experience. He took to Gumtree to recruit a chef, which was how he linked up with Denney, who has a degree in art history and trained at Hambleton Hall in Rutland.

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