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Ristorante Frescobaldi Mayfair – Review:
A sense of history means different things in different places. In Italy the Frescobaldi family have been making winemakers since 1308; in a rather smart move they traded wine for art with Michelangelo and were even financiers to Henry VIII. In more recent times as well as being one of Italy’s great winemaking dynasties they have opened restaurants in Florence and Rome airports and on the lower ground floor of Harrods.
Their new outpost is a rather beautiful restaurant and bar in Mayfair for which they are in partnership with hospitality group Good Food Society and I have been invited with a group of bloggers and journalists to try it out. The food, masterminded by head Chef Roberto Reatini previously from Zafferano, celebrates Tuscany’s rich gastronomic tradition but with a contemporary twist. The wines produced by Marchesi dei Frescobaldi are a central feature of the restaurant’s offer. The house has nine estates in the hills around Florence and Siena producing a range of wines through to the flagship Frescobaldi cuvée, Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo Riserva.
The interior is a beguiling mix of oak panelling, inscribed with the names of the Frescobaldi vintages, and tiles featuring Commedia dell’Arte style images.
But it is in the intimate library style basement that proceedings begin with a glass or three of Danzante Prosecco, Spumante Extra Dry V.S.Q.A.. With a fruity fragrance of apples and pears it was the perfect match for some salty Parmesan chunks and gorgeous mixed mushroom and truffle crostini.
We start our meal with a beetroot salad with pistachio-simple but delicious. The peppery Frescobaldi olive oil gave it some bite.
Teseo, our sommelier who had just worked for the Clooney wedding, informed us that Frescobaldi had brought the chardonnay grape to Italy. He introduced us to the Pomino Bianco 2013 (a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Blanc. It was light, fresh and very mineral and worked well with the sweetness of the beetroot.
Lobster linguine al dente was a classic simple pasta dish. The lobster was full of flavour and the pasta as al dente as advertised. Our matched wine was the Attems Cupra Ramato 2013, Venezia Giulia i.g.t. The wine had a light copper colour as the grape skin was macerated for a short time over the must. This was more full-bodied with notes of jasmine and exotic fruit.
Dessert was an apple walnut cake with cinnamon ice cream. The cake was light and perfect with the cinnamon ice. Our accompanying glass(es) of Vinsanto Naturale 2007 was not too sweet and the blend of Trebbiano, San Colombano and Malvasia grapes created a classic example of this type of wine.
Ristorante Frescobaldi is a really stylish addition to Mayfair. Situated just off Saville Row and around the corner from Regent St it is handy for daytime shopping lunches and in the evening with its classic food and wine offer and lovely interior is the perfect place for a treat.
15 New Burlington Place
T: +44 (0) 203 693 3435