Soho House Copenhagen’s beloved Italian restaurant Cecconi’s is opening to the public: Get the low-down on its star-studded history

By Allyson Shiffman

Photo: Soho House

On the occasion of Soho House Copenhagen's Cecconi's opening its doors to the public, we chat with Cecconi’s director Giacomo Maccioni about the restaurant'ss storied history

Where would one find Madonna dining near David Beckham, members of the British royal family (Princess Diana included) seated across the room from Hugh Grant (who favoured a place at the bar) and Hollywood heavyweights Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone? Cecconi’s. Since it opened its doors in London’s Mayfair in the ‘70s, the Northern Italian restaurant was beloved among the most discerning diners who came as much for the food as they did for the familial vibe. “It’s very much a place where if you come to London, you have to come to Cecconi’s and have a bite,” says Cecconi’s director Giacomo Maccioni, who was hired by founder Enzo Cecconi in 1990. “Celebrities and royals would come and feel very at home with the service, with the food.”


Cecconi's at Soho House Copenhagen. Photo: Soho House

Photo: Soho House

Photo: Soho House

Acquired by Soho House in 2004, Cecconi’s now has 21 locations around the globe (including the original location in Mayfair), some open only to Soho House members, others open to everyone. While Stockholm’s location remains a member’s only affair, Cecconi’s Copenhagen will open its doors to the public in April (reservations can be made now). “People just want to come and enjoy it,” says Maccioni. “When the weather is fantastic and warm, opening the doors and eating by the terrace – it’s going to be amazing. A mixture of people who just want to come and enjoy.” He notes that the location, overlooking the Havnegade waterfront, mirrors the canals of Venice, where Cecconi’s finds its inspiration.

The original Cicconi's in Mayfair. Photo: Soho House

Photo: Soho House

All these years later, the spirit of Cecconi’s – the special sauce that made it an A-list destination – remains. “It’s based on strong foundations around simple food that people understand,” says Giacomo, noting that the menu isn’t bogged down with complicated descriptions or esoteric ingredients. “With bolognese, there isn’t much to say. Rigatoni – it’s a simple dish.” Instead, the emphasis is on the very best ingredients: pasta from Gragnano (“It’s a company in Napoli with the best pasta in Italy,” says Maccioni), Burrata from Puglia, prosciutto from Parma. Then there are the signature tricks, for instance, the dash of osso buco added to the Bolognese. “All of these ingredients Mr. Cecconi felt so strongly about. We must never lower the standards because of cost,” says Giacomo. “If you can work out the biggest part of the experience, which is great food, and then you can match it with great service, then you have a busy restaurant.”

Dishes at Cecconi's in Copenhagen. Photo: Soho House

Giacomo Maccioni.

Photo: Soho House

Though northern Italy remains the key culinary inspiration, each individual Ceccioni’s is subtly influenced by the city in which it lives. Luckily, the restaurant’s approach to all-day dining (starting with brunch – recently introduced at the Copenhagen location on the weekends) is a perfect fit for Danes. “When I went to Copenhagen, I noticed that people are out all day,” says Giacomo, noting that the restaurant is just as likely to be packed at 20.00 as it is at midnight. To fit this freewheeling energy, there’s a greater emphasis on share plates on the Copenhagen menu. Under the direction of head chef Joakim Kjærkner, the restaurant offers eight dishes that change with the season, served family style at a set price.

As for Macconi’s go-to Cecconi’s order, he likes the zucchini fritti, but at the end of the day he’s a loyal veal Milanese guy. As he puts it, simply, “It’s a fantastic dish.”

Reservations at Cecconi's Copenhagen are now open to the public.