33 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD
WLC Rank : 13
Glass from : £ 8 (125 ml)
BEST FORThe romantic cherry blossom conservatory
Central Covent Garden
The 100 page wine list
“We work hard to find any good value appellation or stunning wine to surprise any palate and to bring some new interest and knowledge to everyone,” says head sommelier, Daniele Chelo.
Milan-born Daniele Chelo oversees over 2,500 bins at Clos Maggiore, a tall Covent Garden venue with famously blossom-adorned conservatory, regularly touted as London’s “most romantic” restaurant. Chelo “fell in love with hospitality” at the Michelin-starred Al Pont de Ferr, Milan, and in London, rose the ranks at Jason Atherton’s City Social, where he became a certified sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers).
Chelo fondly remembers the moment he was handed keys to the temperature controlled fourth floor eaves cellar from outgoing sommelier, Antonin Dubuis. “A nice, friendly speech: the juice of it was he was truly happy to give me the keys of the cellar and the ‘baby’ (Wine List) to take care of after the hard work he did. We finished celebrating at home with some good Champagne, wine and friends.”
Chelo has been gradually adding “his touch” to Dubuis’ list, with additions ranging from £30 to £2,000 per bottle, including: Guigal St. Joseph Lieu-Dit, “an incredible, powerful Marsanne”, Matias Riccitelli Republica del Malbec, “a beautiful option for Malbec lovers”, Mamete Prevostini Albareda, “a Sforzato di Valtellina from my region and therefore a love story between us. It’s made with Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) grapes dried under the sun like Amarone.” Chelo also put Château Pape Clément Blanc 2006 by-the-glass via Coravin.
Clos Maggiore plays host to regular symposiums including Dom Pérignon and Napa’s Cakebread Cellars. “I couldn’t resist listing a few vintages of their Dancing Bear Ranch.” However, “the best is yet to come,” teases Chelo.
Dishes by head chef, Marcellin Marc who takes a “contemporary approach to Provençal inspired dishes” may include poached fillet of organic Scottish sea trout with Baeri caviar, perhaps partnered with Casa da Passarella’s Villa Oliveira Encruzado. “The wine’s structure and richness from slight skin contact works well with the dish’s creaminess and fattiness,” says Chelo.
Chelo dreams of owning a vineyard of Nebbiolo in Italy’s Langhe, where he feels “peaceful” and “so amazed by the landscape.” The people and food just complete the dream scenario.
By Douglas Blyde.