Miranda Forte (right)
The Forte family is bringing authentic Italian cuisine to Fulham – buon appetito!
In opening Raffaele’s restaurant on Munster Road, Miranda Forte has followed in a proud family tradition. ‘In 1933, after arriving from Italy, my grandad Ambrogio founded the Star Cafe in Soho,’ she says. ‘And my uncle Luigi owned Don Luigi’s in Wardour Street for many years. I suppose hospitality is in my blood (the photographs are on the wall prove it).’
Miranda handles the front of house at Raffaele’s (named after her late father), uncle Luigi advises and helps manage the business, her partner Steve runs the bar and her cousin Gino works with chef Justin in the kitchen. ‘I know and love this area and Luigi, who has lived just off Munster Road being retired. So, when this corner premises came onto the market, it seemed the perfect opportunity for us to work together.
‘We come from the Amalfi coast, so our food is inspired by Southern Italian cuisine. I really wanted to get back to the concept of a “proper” neighbourhood restaurant serving the delicious rustic dishes with big flavours that we love to eat at home.
‘Nothing is bought in – for example, the chef makes his own arancini and tiramisu – and we use local suppliers, with superb quality fish, meat and vegetables delivered fresh every morning.’
Raffaele’s offers daily specials, a bambini menu and vegetarian options and the wines are sourced from contacts that Luigi knows well, with bottles for all tastes and budgets. The spacious rear room can be hired for sit-down parties and events or the whole restaurant for a buffet.
‘We’ve had a lovely welcome from local people,’ smiles Miranda. ‘We are open Tuesday-Sunday from 5pm (in the weeks before Christmas Raffaele’s will open for lunch). A restaurant should be about getting together with family and friends and enjoying excellent food in a friendly atmosphere. That’s what we’re all about, we look forward to welcoming you.’
199 Munster Road
Fulham SW6 6BX
020 7386 8814