Restaurant owners team up to bring al fresco dining to Norwich Lanes

Saporita owner Veronica Iapichino and Bishop's Dining Room owner Alessandro Tranquillo have teamed up to offer outdoor...

Saporita owner Veronica Iapichino and Bishop's Dining Room owner Alessandro Tranquillo have teamed up to offer outdoor Italian dining in the Norwich Lanes from April. - Credit: Shane Finn Photography

The owners of two of Norwich's most popular restaurants are teaming up to bring the taste and feel of Italy to the Norwich Lanes when outdoor dining is allowed to return.

Under the government's roadmap out of lockdown, pubs and restaurants can serve customers outside from April 12 if the conditions for easing restrictions are met.

This had led to a collaboration between Norwich restaurant owners Alessandro Tranquillo at Bishop's Dining Room and Veronica Iapichino at Saporita, who are both from Italy, to create an al fresco dining experience. 

Both restaurants are located just a stone's throw from each other in St Andrews Hill and Mr Tranquillo approached Miss Iapichino with his idea as his outdoor seating had been popular last summer and his chefs are on furlough until May.  

The outdoor seating will be at Bishop's Dining Room, with owner Alessandro Tranquillo providing wine and other drinks and...

The outdoor seating will be at Bishop's Dining Room, with owner Alessandro Tranquillo providing wine and other drinks and the food will come from Saporita, which is owned by Veronica Iapichino. - Credit: Shane Finn Photography

While Mr Tranquillo will provide Italian wines and a range of other drinks from his fine dining restaurant, Miss Iapichino will offer appetisers, platters with Italian meats or grilled vegetables with cheeses, olives and focaccia. Tiramisu is on offer for dessert.

Mr Tranquillo, 60, who has run Bishop's Dining Room for a decade, said: "I talked to Veronica and said what if you do the food and I do the drinks so we can both help each other and she was really enthusiastic. 

"With the situation with coronavirus, it is very important to collaborate even if you do two different cuisines." 

Alessandro Tranquillo, owner of Bishop's Dining Room, approached Saporita owner Veronica Iapichino about doing a...

Alessandro Tranquillo, owner of Bishop's Dining Room, approached Saporita owner Veronica Iapichino about doing a collaboration as his chefs are on furlough until May and he wanted to open for outdoor dining in April. - Credit: Shane Finn Photography

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It will run until both restaurants can open indoors and Italian eatery Saporita, which opened in February 2017, is currently open for takeaways and delivery with pizza by the slice, focaccia, paninis and charcuterie.

Miss Iapichino, 33, whose mum Patrizia is the chef, said: "We closed just in the first lockdown and after that have been doing takeaways - we haven't even tried to ask to put tables outside as it is too narrow.

"Alex said if you like we can do this and I said perfect as it is good to have more business and new customers." 

It will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm to 6pm and you can book by calling 01603 767321 or 07841 015823 or email reservations@bishopsrestaurant.co.uk

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