Autumn foods at Lena

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With our much loved summer fruits and salads no longer in season, we are ready to explore October’s finest produce with seasonal foods tasting best this month. Lena restaurant is offering a wide range of delicious fresh October produce for you to experience the best autumnal foods available.

Have you tried our Pappardele – Tuscan sausage Ragu with fennel? Or you could go for our homemade roasted peppers, Seafood Spaghetti Nero with fresh mussels, or the sautéed forest mushrooms which are all freshly prepared, cooked and best enjoyed in October. This weather surely isn’t helping anyone but at least it’s helping the finest ingredients taste their best before they end up on our plates!

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Mother’s Day Menu

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Mother's Day Menu

Mothers Day is undoubtedly an important holiday – it is the one day a year when we can show the person who does so much for us, how much you actually appreciate them. Lena as previously mentioned in older posts, is a family run restaurant in honour of the owner’s mother Carmelina:

“Carmelina Rotta was born in Sicily in 1919, where she enjoyed her childhood before moving to Alexandria in Egypt for her father’s job.  It was here that her Sicilian mother taught her to cook the classics of Southern Italian cuisine. In the Suez Crisis of 1956, Lena, as she was now known was forced to move from what had become her home.   Now married to an Irish naval engineer, England was to become her home for the next 56 years.  Those years were filled with 5 children, lots of squashed family meals around a tiny table, lots of hard work and many home-cooked meals  Despite all these years away from her native Sicily, to this day, Lena is still firmly rooted in the traditions of her background, holding true Italian values of pride, family and of course food close to her heart.  Through her children and grandchildren, she has shared her love of home-cooking and (some of) her secret recipes!  She is today the quintessential Italian ‘Mama’, tiny but powerful, bossy and principled, and still thinking of the days she’ll get old, despite turning 93 at the end of this year.” 

One cannot think of better way of showing that special woman in your life – how much you appreciate what they do – by taking them to such a beautiful restaurant.

Mother’s Day @Lena Restaurant

Mother’s day is undoubtedly an important holiday – it is the one day a year where we can truly appreciate the person who does so much for you. As previously mentioned in older posts, Lena is a family run restaurant inspired by the owner’s mother – Carmelina. 

“Carmelina Rotta was born in Sicily in 1919, where she enjoyed her childhood before moving to Alexandria in Egypt for her father’s job.  It was here that her Sicilian mother taught her to cook the classics of Southern Italian cuisine. In the Suez Crisis of 1956, Lena, as she was now known was forced to move from what had become her home.   Now married to an Irish naval engineer, England was to become her home for the next 56 years.  Those years were filled with 5 children, lots of squashed family meals around a tiny table, lots of hard work and many home-cooked meals  Despite all these years away from her native Sicily, to this day, Lena is still firmly rooted in the traditions of her background, holding true Italian values of pride, family and of course food close to her heart.  Through her children and grandchildren, she has shared her love of home-cooking and (some of) her secret recipes!  She is today the quintessential Italian ‘Mama’, tiny but powerful, bossy and principled, and still thinking of the days she’ll get old, despite turning 93 at the end of this year.” 

The food at Lena is inspired by Carmelina – so why not spend Mother’s Day in a restaurant that does nothing but honour its mother…. we think it sounds like a plan!

 

 

It’s official Lena is now open for lunch once more…

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So it has been a while, since Lena has opened for lunch – but the time has come for it to  reopen once more and provide you Italian food lovers, with some divine dishes. Lena has put together a fantastic lunchtime menu:

Lunch Menu

2 courses £17.95  or   3 courses £19.95

Cauliflower soup

 shaved Parmigiano, truffle oil. (V)

Buffalo mozzarella

leeks, sun blushed tomatoes. (V)

Pan fried squid

 grilled polenta, tomatoes, caper, olives sauce.

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Pappardelle

 venison ragu, Sicilian pecorino.

Pan roasted cod

 cherry tomatoes, olives, cockles.

Scotch sirloin tagliata

Chianti jus, rocket, parmesan

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Tiramisu

coffee, Amaretto soaked savoiardi,

mascarpone & chocolate.

Pear & apple crumble

cinnamon ice-cream

Caffe’ Affogato

 espresso, vanilla ice-cream.

 

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Menu created by Head Chef Anacleto Baldi Fiorello

All prices include VAT at 20% | A discretionary 12.5% Service Charge is added to all bills

Yesterday, we tried a selection of Lena’s dishes – to make sure they were absolutely perfect. Below are some images of the dishes. Please let us know – what you think of both the dishes and the special lunch time menu!

garlic mash

truffles galoreyum yum yum

Brush up on your Italian kissing technique – just before Valentines Day

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ImageDue to the great response we had from our previous post regarding Baci Kisses – we’ve decided to take it one step further and help you guys this Valentines Day by assisting you in brushing up on your Italian kissing technique….

If you want to woo that special someone, maybe say a few of the following and tell them of the story of the romantic baci kisses. Furthermore, come down to Lena and experience the romance and try the Baci kisses for yourself..

Brush up on your Italian Kissing Technique

1. Love and kisses – Un milione di baci

2. I am addicted to your kisses . Sono dipendente dei tuoi baci –

3. Come here and kiss me – Vieni qui e baciamo

4, Every time I kiss you I forget where I am – Ogni volt ache ti bacio dimentico dove sono

5. Your kisses are as sweet as honey – Le tue baci sono dolci come il meile

Top 5 Places to Kiss in Italy

1. Trevino Fountain Rome

2. Bridge of Sighs Venice

3. Ponte Vecchio Florence

4. Sorrento Bay of Naples

5. Bellagio Lake Como

Why don’t you visit the Perugia chocolate festival this year – take a look at some of the images!ImageImageImage

Valentines Day @ Lena – Un Gran Bacio al Cioccolato ( A Big Chocolate Kiss)

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“ The best things in life are either Italian or chocolate” Maria Gloria The Italian Connection

With this in mind as you climb the hilltops of the Tiber valley peeking out above the clouds is the magical beautiful medieval town of Perugia. Home of the famous chocolate delicacy “Baci” – kisses in Italian, and the equally famous Perugia Chocolate Festival.

Thousands of Italians, tourists and chocolate lovers flock there every October. At the centre is the Baci chocolate kisses – Baci means kisses in Italian.

Legend has it that in the early nineteen hundreds Giovanni Buitoni (heir to the Perugina Chocolate factory) and Luisa Spagnolli ( a local confectioner) fell in love, She created a confection of whipped chocolate blended with chopped hazelnuts, topped it with a whole hazelnut and covered it with bittersweet chocolate. As their love had to remain a secret Luisa wrapped love notes around them as the wrapper when she sent them over to Giovanni for inspection.

Eventually they married and grew the business to the famous international confectionery company it is today. The love notes still surround each Baci chocolate.

Synonymous with Italian romance these little delights are still know for the lovers treats not to mention the fact that ancient writings describe chocolate as a powerful aphrodisiac. Who wouldn’t be seduced by it all?

Italians look forward to receiving Baci not only as a chocolate indulgence but for the expression of love, romance and affection that they come with.

After many years the love notes are collectibles and books have been written about them. They have been taken from some of the world’s greatest poems and proverbs. In the modern world there is now even iPhone app showing love transcends time!

Valentines Day @ Lena will ooze romance and will be the perfect location for you to spend time with your loved one. Below is the Valentines day menu (although the other a la carte options are still available!)

This years special menu evokes romance, with dishes that are meant to be shared between lovers – ranging from your aphrodisiac oysters to sharing main dishes. So why not come down and share this special night with the person you love.

This Friday Night @ Lena

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Music and food is undoubtedly the way to anyone’s heart… so why not combine the two? Lena, known for its delectable Italian cuisine, will also provide the wonderful accompaniment of the beautiful sounds of Dan Benzino and his pianist Ashley Kingsley this Friday. Why not start the evening with some delicious food and wines, and then head downstairs for a few cheeky cocktails?

Dan Benzino, is an experienced Jazz singer and a regular on the london scene, singing his beautiful songs throughout the Capital. Having previously sung with a jazz trio at the National Theatre foyer, The Swan- Globe Theatre and the Bar Nightjar. His well- regarded pianist, Ashley Kingsley, is regarded as one of the finest session musicians in the country. Kingsley, Beverly Knights official keyboard player will be joining Dan for this very special night of food,drink and music. He has previously played for the likes of Prince, Chris Rea and many more signature names.

Lena restaurant is situated in the heart of Shoreditch – serving delicious Italian food combined with beautiful sounds – what a perfect way to start the weekend?

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