Lena an authentic Italian bar and restaurant provides a real taste of Italy in London’s vibrant Shoreditch. Named after owner, Alex Foley’s mother the restaurant is a tribute to her and encompasses everything an Italian restaurant should be: a meeting point for family and friends. Alex currently presides over the successful bar and venue The Chapel Bar in Islington but has always wanted his own restaurant in which to reflect his Italian up bringing and passion for his home country.

Inspired by Lena’s Sicilian up bringing chef Walter Benenati executes a menu of Southern Italian favourites such as pasta con n’duja and pesce spada all’aghiotta. In addition there are Italian classics such as antipasti of warm salad of steamed octopus, olive oil and lemon dressing and slow-cooked leg of duck with grape syrup with seasonal mixed leaves, primi piatti of carnaroli rice, porcini mushrooms, parmesan and linguini with fresh clams, garlic, chilli and white wine, secondi of rack of wild boar, red berry salsa and roasted pumpkin and traditional fish soup with garlic croutons and most importantly dolce of dark chocolate truffle torte with marsala wine and caramelised orange and frangipane tart and fresh pears.

There is also a daily changing set lunch menu keenly priced at £12.50 for 2 courses and £15.00 for 3 courses. The lower ground floor is where the bar is located. Offering an eclectic Italian inspired cocktail list, created by the head cocktail bartenders as well as a wide selection of Italian wines it exudes a lounge like feel where banquette seating, mirrored walls and a deep aubergine palate provide a great place in which to relax with friends whilst listening to live music provided by both a pianist and jazz band. A clean design feel is achieved via a white and sage green colour scheme intermixed with chrome lighting, open fireplaces as well as intermittent tiled walls providing a true kitchen feel to the venue. Set within one of London’s most up and coming gastronomic districts, Lena guarantees to offer a slice of simplicity and comfort amongst these unsettled times, after all – Mama knows best… www.lenarestaurant.com