David Bentley, who played for Spurs until this year, has invested in a new London restaurant space which he hopes will rival that of Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’ in Stratford.
When asked about his new restaurant in terms of the football pitch, Bentley was confident; “What would the score be? Definitely 3-0 to La Sala — a hat-trick. That’s one goal for each course. The mixed sushi to start, then the sharing rack of ribs for main would put us 2-0 up. The final insult would be the chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce — we’d wipe the floor.”
Bentley turned 30 this year and retired from his midfield position at Blackburn and Tottenham this summer. With his new-found time and love of food Bentley turned his focus to restaurants and bought a share of the original Marbella restaurant La Sala. When news arose of its UK opening on Chigwell Road, Woodford Bentley leapt on the opportunity to put his time into a new venture.
His interest in a dining experience over a bar or pub reflects the nature of mature footballers, as he comments, “It’s a lifestyle choice. I could sit in a bar until 3am but I would far rather enjoy a laid-back evening with friends over a meal if I’m honest.”
He is supported by fellow footballers Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who he hopes will be a key factor in his wish to attract a celebrity clientele. The restauraunt has currently been open for two weeks.
Bentley adds “We have an amazing chef called Alessandro Dinghile and he is really passionate about the story behind the food — the farmers and producers, the quality of the ingredients, seasonality and the experience of sitting down to enjoy food and creating real works of art.”