El Pirata Mayfair
5-6 Down Street, Mayfair, W1J 7AQ
WLC Rank : 141
Glass from : £ 6.25 (175 ml)
BEST FORBroad range of Spanish wines, including sherry and Cava
Picasso prints and a quirky decor
Wines on the pictoral list are selected by the GM and mine host, José Rodrigues, who consults with his team before adding a bottle. ‘I am a true believer good wine doesn’t need to cost the earth,’ he says, ‘and am proud that El Pirata has one of the cheapest lists in Mayfair.’
El Pirata is a casual, beamed Iberian restaurant beyond blinds and below window boxes and mossy canopies on Down Street, moments from decadence of The Playboy Club, chic Coya and the Grade II listed embassy of Japan. Replete with an illuminated indoor street lamp and bright Picasso prints, there are over 60 dishes to choose from here, deliberately not one of which attempts to reinvent the wheel. These are likely to include patatas bravas, croquetas de jamón and indeed hand carved harm, deep fried monkfish medallions, various paellas, gazpacho (a dish near impossible to match wine with – but try cold Fino anyway) and, for sharing, roast suckling pig.
Wines on the pictoral list are selected by GM and mine host, José Rodrigues, who consults with his team before adding a bottle. ‘I am a true believer good wine doesn’t need to cost the earth,’ he told WLC, ‘and am proud that El Pirata has one of the cheapest lists in Mayfair.’ This begins sub £22 a bottle for Paso a Paso white Parellada and ascends to nearly £700 for Unico (Vega Sicilia). In between, you may encounter wines previously easily evaporated on holidays to scorchio Iberia, such as Vina Esmeralda from Torres, as well as Enrique Mendoza’s Pinot Noir from Alicante, Muga’s Prado Enea and also their Aro. A small but precise Cava selection are preferable in price perhaps out of patriotism to the Champagne offer.
Also, order a Rebujito come summer, made here with a dry PX, lemonade and mint.
By Douglas Blyde.