The Factory Kitchen
As you might guess from the name, The Factory Kitchen has some industrial heritage. The space was once a fish factory and Ana Henton of MASS Architecture Design Build leant into that strongly when designing the renovation of this 3,000 square-foot space; concrete and reclaimed wood abounds. And the kitchen is visible from the dining area – the idea being that it does indeed feel like a factory kitchen, as it were. But the food here is about as far from feeling like it was produced on an assembly line as you could get.
At first glance, the Italian cuisine here is simple. But don’t be fooled. There is a lot of talent and creativity at work here. Ingredients are seasonal and locally sourced, and the team behind The Factory Kitchen – Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana – have cut their teeth at some of the best Italian restaurants in the city. And it shows. After all, it takes serious skill to get that perfect crisp on focaccina calda di recco al formaggio (focaccia dough stretched thin and wrapped around filling). While this dish is best likened to a calzone, it both is and is so much more than that. The “tradizionale”, with crescenza (a soft and creaming Italian cow’s-milk cheese), rocket and ligurian olive oil, is a knockout. But – and this may seem hard to believe after a few bites of the tradizionale – it gets even better, with other incarnations, like the Fiori & Funghi, with foraged mushrooms, zucchini blossoms, ligurian olive oil and parsley.
Even though you may want to simply indulge in the focaccina, the menu at The Factory Kitchen should be lingered over and savoured. There are dishes to share – and plenty more to jealously keep to yourself. Housemade pasta here features everything from slow roast duckling ragú and shaved truffles to lobster. There are accomplished dishes like steamed littleneck clams in a garlicky broth with chickpeas, peperú (sweet and spicy peppers stuffed with soft cheese, grana padano and rocket oil), and sogliola italiana (sautéed whole Dover sole served with a cauliflower and crustacean sauce, and broccoli di cicco). Not to mention hearty meat dishes, clever little starters showcasing stellar Italian ingredients, like Tuscan kale, castelvetrano olives and mediterranean octopus, and gelato and cannoli (among other delicious dishes) for dessert.