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Authentic Italian restaurant opens at The Barn in New Milton

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A NEW Milton pub has relaunched as an authentic Italian restaurant with Vito Capozza, the former co-owner of Il Palio in Brockenhurst, at the helm.

Boasting an extensive range of 20 pasta dishes and 10 pizza varieties, The Barn hopes to attract back customers old and new with a special two-course lunch menu and evening a la carte offering.

Owner and general manager Charles Bruske explained that he has now joined forces with Vito and his daughter Francesca to launch the 100-seater venue that will operate throughout the week.

Vito Capozza and Charles Bruske
Vito Capozza and Charles Bruske

Featuring a fully stocked bar and a selection of fine Italian wines, the venue will retain an informal seating area where customers can enjoy drinks and mezze boards.

Charles, who has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel and catering industry, took over at The Barn last year after previously running The Crown at Everton.

However, recruiting and retaining staff has been difficult in the current climate with a huge shortage of experienced chefs.

Charles said: “When we reopened following lockdown I was struggling to recruit enough chefs as this is a sizeable venue. I put a call out to my friends and contacts in the hospitality industry and that was when Vito got in touch.”

Well known as the former co-owner of Il Palio at Brockenhurst train station, Vito is highly regarded locally for his authentic Italian cuisine which helped the restaurant attract a large following of loyal customers.

Inside The Barn
Inside The Barn

After reaching the age of 65 last year he decided it was time to hang up his apron and leave the hospitality trade, but a year on he was keen to return to the kitchen.

Charles said: “Vito has devised the most incredible, authentic Italian menu that he can cook and prepare pretty much single-handedly.

“He eventually hopes to recruit and train a new generation of chefs to support him but he is entirely capable of cooking for 100 covers.”

Vito and Charles have put together a special two-course daily lunch deal which includes a main and starter or pudding, along with a 125ml glass of wine, an Italian beer or a soft drink.

As well as attracting restaurant diners, Charles is also hoping The Barn becomes a popular venue for cream teas, weddings, birthday parties and wakes.

Charles said: “The Barn is in a beautiful location and we have so much space, so we can adapt to suit the needs of customers and larger groups.”

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