Food & Drink

Regional Italian for the west end

People caution against going into business with childhood friends, but given that any partnership will involve some acrimony, aren't battle-tested relationships more likely to survive the inevitable jealousy, distrust, and Dec being such an arse sometimes? Sticking by who they know, the quartet behind Dego.Dego's a bi-level operation soft-opened today by four friends who all grew up in the culinary scene of Vicenza, a northern Italian town outside Venice; downstairs they've installed a casually elegant restaurant marked by black leather booths and low-hung, banana-esque lights, while in the upstairs wine bar patrons belly up to a long, central counter on kingly high chairs, as wine alone doesn't sufficiently exaggerate the delusion of being superior to all. The top floor's serving regional meat/cheese/fish boards to accompany vino from the 4k-bottle, humidity controlled cellar like Lombardy's lauded sparkling Franciacorta, Prosecco from Borgo Antico, and Emidio Pepe's biodynamic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, a product of good old-fashioned foot-stomping (that'll teach those grapes to support Manchester City). To help you put on more weight, downstairs sees regional Italian like Fettuccini with jet-black Trompette 'shrooms, and Vicenza specialities like "Bigoli con l'anatra" (house-made duck-egg pasta smothered in duck ragu) and Bacclá  alla Vicentina, a dish based on dried unsalted cod traditionally softened by beating it with a mallet, after which the cod will never again wear that unforgivable Manchester City jersey.Downstairs also has a cocktail bar promoting distinguished intoxication via the Yamazaki whisky/ pear/ cardomon/ peach liqueur/ lemon Black Mamba Sour, an Americano accented with mandarin liqueur, and the jasmine tea, ginger & grapefruit "Midnight Tea" -- with enough vodka to turn you into an arse as you indulge in a little PG and dunking.