Gigi’s Cucina, based on Oakbrook Road, Nether Green, has been serving up delicious Italian food since 2014, and are now set to open a wine bar in the restaurant’s upstairs area.
Owner Loretta Giaimo-Cossar said the food offering in the wine bar will be cicchetti, which are small plates of food similar to Spanish tapas that originated in Venice, Italy; and the idea is to offer two completely different dining experiences under one roof.
"Downstairs will be conventional dining and upstairs will be a different concept to give people variety to their experience with us. Upstairs is going to have a relaxed feel where people can come for drinks and nibbles,” said Loretta, adding: “Our cicchetti menu will be the first of its kind for Sheffield ”
The cicchetti menu is yet to be finalised, but the type of dishes diners can expect to find include grilled baby calamari marinated with gremolata; artichoke hearts with parsley dressing and grana padano cheese and meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce.
Work to transform the upstairs of Gigi’s has taken place during lockdown. Loretta said she and husband, Ryan Cossar, hope to be able to open the upstairs wine bar from May 19, two days after the scheduled return of indoor hospitality; but will confirm an opening date closer to the time.
Ryan is responsible for fitting out the wine bar, and Loretta said it will be “aesthetically pleasing,” with botanical elements, flowers and folliage she hopes customers will enjoy.
Loretta opened the restaurant with her dad, Gigi, with an ethos that reflected both his Italian heritage and their passion for authentic, yet contemporary, Italian cuisine.
After Gigi sadly passed away, chef Franco Baldan, who hails from Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy, joined the Gigi’s team in 2019, and will be showing diners what the cicchetti menu “is all about,” explained Loretta.
After investing in their alfresco dining terrace, Gigi’s Cucina reopened their downstairs restaurant earlier this month after outdoor hospitality was permitted to reopen.
Commenting on reopening, Loretta said: "It’s been absolutely excellent. We couldn’t ask for more.”
"A lot of work went into making the terrace as comfortable as possible. There are a lot of heaters, it’s well organised, and it’s comfortable to sit there for a meal. It almost feels like a normal dining experience, even though it’s outside,” she added.
To book a table, please visit Gigi’s Cucina website here: http://gigiscucina.co.uk/