Gabeto Cantina is the latest opening in Camden Market – and yet its scale is a little different from the smaller recent arrivals like Voodoo Ray’s, the Cheese Bar and Zala.
This mammoth warehouse conversion – formerly hoary old dinosaur The Cuban – is being billed as a palace of “contemporary brasserie dining”, inevitably all exposed brick walls, vaulted brick ceilings and dark timber flooring. The Latin-style moniker would suggest a hedonistic leaning, we imagine, too.
And ambitious it really is: an industrial staircase will lead to the first floor restaurant, with its “high-level dining booths and eclectic retro furniture”. Outside, the terrace will be handily weather-proof and function as alternative events space with “food pop-ups rotating with the seasons”.
But the most exciting thing for locals is that the head chef is Lee Andrews, formerly senior chef de partie at Chiltern Firehouse. “Our cuisine is based on British brasserie dining injected with a delicate yet delicious twist,” says Andrews. “Our wood oven infuses dishes with a subtle smoky flavour, sealing in moisture for each succulent bite.”
Sounds promising. Then there’s resident mixologist Tony Safqui, who’s created a “unique cocktail programme” which will sit alongside a carefully curated wine list.
And the whole operation will be overseen by Nicol Dwyer, formerly of Shoreditch streetfood behemoth Dinerama.