Club Cecconi’s @ Brighton Beach House Soho House

Club Cecconi’s @ Brighton Beach House Soho House

A modern-day classic Italian restaurant serving hand-made pasta, wood oven-fired pizza, seafood, and dishes from Northern Italy at The Brighton Beach House by Soho House.

For those unfamiliar with the brand Soho House is a group of private members’ clubs originally aimed at those in the arts, politics, and media. The original location is at 40 Greek Street, Soho, London. Which Opened in 1995, accessible through a small door around the corner and leading to a space above Cafe Boheme. Café Boheme had become a favorite meeting place for a circle of London-based artists and creatives who could find a home in the private club. And it was a home that the club resembled, in the heart of Soho, with three floors interconnected through three different buildings. The company now operates clubs, hotels and venues around the world and has recently opened Brighton Beach House. Located on Madeira Drive with views out to sea, and is a space for creatives to eat, drink, and relax, and it is here you can find Club Cecconi’s, the acclaimed Italian restaurant synonymous with the Soho House brand throughout the world.

Cecconi’s became an overnight sensation when Enzo Cecconi, the youngest ever general manager of Hotel Cipriani in Venice, opened the first one in London’s Mayfair in 1978, bringing Italian delights with Venetian sophistication to the lucky Londoners at the time. Cecconi’s was an immediate hit with the who’s and who’s of society and has since opened restaurants as part of the Soho House exclusive members club family all over the world. So to say expectations were running high on our visit to Club Cecconi’s at Brighton Beach House, the latest addition to said family, which after much anticipation opened its doors earlier this year, would be the biggest understatement I have ever written. As I reflect on our experience I must say that it really was nothing short of spectacular, and not to be missed.

It was my first visit to Brighton Beach House so my companion David and I were given the whole tour of the impressive newly renovated grade 2 listed building, which is set across two floors and takes inspiration from the seaside landscape and art deco architecture. After being suitably impressed by the versatile range of gorgeous Beach Loft event spaces available to suit any type of event, the laid-back yet buzzing atmosphere of the members club space, and the incredible panoramic views of the terrace and banana shaped infinity pool, we were ready to be seated at Club Cecconi’s for some Northern Italian delights.

The restaurant is masterfully designed with a spacious interior that features a prominent bar surrounded by marble topped tables, and elegant furnishings littered about the impressive black and white mosaic tiled floor space. Huge windows with views of the iconic Palace pier and Brighton beach-front grace the entire south wall, filling the room with natural light on a beautiful sunny autumnal day. The vibe is relaxed and we are greeted by every member of staff we passed as we are shown to the to our table. First impressions count, and it is immediately obvious the team are well-versed in the fine art of customer service, which is apparent with the warm welcome we receive. Our waitress Irene who has recently moved to Brighton after several years working for Soho House in London, strikes a perfect balance of attentiveness and friendliness, comfortable in making suggestions and keen to engage in conversation when we initiate. David selects a bottle of Picpaul de Pinet from the impressive wine list to accompany our meal and we leisurely enjoy a glass while we are left to peruse the menu.

We begin we dabble with selection of small plates and appetizers, all of which looked beautifully presented on arrival, though we were quick to dig and and ruin all that. The lamb meatballs were deliciously lean, succulent and super flavoursome, bathed in a lovely bravas style tomato sauce and creamy ricotta with scattered parmesan shavings, all of which heightened the flavour of the lamb. Zucchini Fritti were nothing short of a marvel, gloriously addictive wafer thin slices encased in a flawless tasty light than air batter with a zesty lemon aioli to dunk. An interesting dish of veal tonnato with caper berries packed a delightful salty punch that sticks with you. The star of the appetizer show however was the black truffle veal tartare. Delicate yet crunchy crisp-bread topped with velvety slithers of prime beef with the addition of potent truffle shavings that almost overwhelm, however served with a cracked raw quail egg which when drizzled and combined with the meat, soothes and adds to the sublime smooth texture of the dish.

Moving on to the larger plates we again share a selection of plates. Once again, all of which are a sight to behold on arrival yet promptly decimated. On the advice of Irene we have plumped for the special of the day; mussels in a white wine, nduja and garlic sauce and we are so blown away we both remark that they simply have to make it on to the main menu! The gorgeous plump mussels are full of flavour in themselves, but of course it is all about the sauce. Nduja is a surprisingly sweet yet piquant addition to such a classic that is sheer genius. We soaked it all up with the accompanying home made Focaccia which we also could not get enough of, light and fluffy generously soaked in olive oil and topped off withn fresh rosemary. Delightful.
Our munificently topped black truffle four-cheese wood-fired pizzette is as rich and decadent as it sounds. Blue cheese and truffle dominate the proceedings and the base is light, slightly crisp, with a gorgeous flavour of its own. Our plant-based option, wood-fired hispi cabbage with peperonata is a wonderment. If I was blindfolded, I simply would not have been able to guess I was eating cabbage! This dish combined a plethora of exciting flavours, all working harmoniously whilst exciting every part of my palate, seared to perfection, with a wonderful meaty texture to boot.

Now barely able to move, we felt it may be a little greedy to have pudding too, though we could not resist the decadent sounding desserts when they were offered up. We were sent to dessert heaven with the finest passion fruit topped vanilla pannacotta, decadently creamy and so light it almost could have floated right off the plate, and a rich velvety dark chocolate mousse with scoops of refreshing raspberry sorbet piled high and chunks of honeycomb scattered about. There was so much going on with flavours, textures and temperatures. Every bite an adventure. A masterpiece.

We had such a lovely time we did not want to leave, so we decided to enjoy a couple of chilli margaritas on the terrace and reflect on out experience. Club Cecconi’s is quite simply perfection. Every plate of food consistently excellent, with a huge variety of flavours and textures with a great deal of thought going into the presentation and composition of the dishes. The service we received was impeccable and the décor and ambiance felt special, yet relaxed, making us not want to leave. It is well worth becoming a Soho House member if only to be able to regularly appreciate such a wonderful eatery.

Tony Shattell

Club Cecconi’s @ Brighton Beach House.
The Terraces, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1AY, United Kingdom T: +44 (0)12 7394 9800