Published 14 January 2022
by Henry Southan
The chef Claude Bosi has announced a new restaurant, Socca Bistro, which will open in the summer.
“Bringing the flavours of the Mediterranean to Mayfair,”, the opening is a partnership between Bosi and LSL Capital, the restaurant group behind Bombay Bustle and Mìmì Meì Faìr, and which is headed up by Samyukta Nair and her father, Dinesh Nair.
Nair said: “I’m thrilled to partner with the incredibly talented Claude Bosi to open Socca Bistro that pays homage to the coastal towns of Cannes, Marseille and Nice to recreate the nostalgia and flavours of the French Riviera.
“I am so excited for us to come together to open our restaurant and share our mutual love for beautifully prepared home comforts in the heart of Mayfair.”
Bosi, who is chef-patron at the revered Bibendum in Chelsea, told CODE: “It has always been a dream of mine to open a bistro in Mayfair for as long as I can remember. It is such a pleasure to be fulfilling this with my dear friend Sam.”
The menu at Socca will have an emphasis on French and Mediterranean-style dishes and wines by the glass. Bosi has “curated a menu with delicate simplicity and seasonality at its core,” an announcement said, which will draw inspiration from the chef’s childhood memories spent in the South of France with his family. Nostalgic sharing plates will be at “the core of the food offering”.
Socca is a detachment from Bosi’s usual style of classical French fine dining, where caviar tops lobster. “I’ve always wanted to open a bistro, it’s something new for me and will be a completely different offering from what we are doing now,” Bosi told CODE. The pandemic has pushed chefs increasingly toward more casual, neighbourhood dining. It often tends to be what people love most anyway.
Bosi told CODE dishes will be “classic” and “seasonal”. They also appear transportive – anybody who has spent time in the South of France, on a sunny terrace, with a bottle of rose, will most likely be a fan.
“There will be some classic dishes which, of course, focus on seasonality,” he said. “Soupe au pistou; spatchcock chicken with Menton lemon and anchovy paste; pieds paquets, a traditional dish from Marseille; caviar d’aubergine; and traditional panisse.
“We will also make different variations of Socca, including one with Picholine olives.”
The site sounds promising indeed. Nair and designer Tom Strother from Fabled Studio plan to transform the former Richoux cafe on South Audley Street, and old, traditional spot. Both say they have looked to establishments such as La Columbe d’Or and Villa Santo Sospir for ideas. So expect scallop shell lights, banquette seating upholstered in deep navy leather, and warm timber paneling.