Fresh homemade pasta at Al Saggio

Fabio Settembre has worked in some of the best hotels and restaurants in London and Rome. Coming from Rome himself, he has also catered for the likes of Silvio Berlusconi at the Italian parliament – but not those parties, he tells The Chiswick Calendar.

Fabio took over Al Saggio at 130 Chiswick High Rd in July, turning it from a coffee bar to a bistro, with hot food for breakfast, lunch and supper, from 8.00 am till 9.00 pm and a deli counter.

His speciality is homemade pasta like his grandmother taught him to make. His signature dish is Carbonara made with pig’s cheek, the Roman way – no mascarpone or cream. Having lived for many years in London he finds much of the Italian food here bland and aims to show us what it really should be like.

Images above: Bresaola; Cguanciale, pecorino, pepe; Healthy pizza

Fabio learned his profession at the Hotel Excelsior in Rome, where La Dolce Vita was filmed. He came to London in 2008 and has worked mostly in Mayfair, front of house at the restaurant at Fortnum and Mason, Claridges and the Hotel Café Royal amongst others, so he’s learned from the best, he says.

His first customer at Fortnum and Mason was Charlie Watts, The Rolling Stones’ drummer, who was he says “an absolute gentleman”. He came in for breakfast by himself and ordered Welsh Rarebit, which Fabio also has on the menu at Al Saggio.

Fabio’s menu is mainly focused on pasta, with between nine and eleven main courses on offer at any time (gluten free pasta available for everything except the lasagne). He’s starting to offer soup this week as we’re beginning to think about putting the central heating on. Vegans also catered for- try the croissants made from charcoal flour.

He usually offers seven starters, including some salads, and two desserts – try his Pistachio and Ruby Chocolate Tiramisu – as well as a daily variety of cakes.

The café-restaurant is fully licensed. Have a look at the menu here:

Image above: Al Saggio’s ‘Magic secret garden’

Club Card offer

Al Saggio is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. Fabio offers Club Card holders 10% off food and drink (not just on a drink by itself) whether eaten in or taken away.

See all the current Club Card offers here: Club-card-offers/a-z-directory

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