85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
WLC Rank : 4
Glass from : £ 7.50 (125 ml)
BEST FORThree floors dedicated to the fermented grape
Access to Hedonism Wines’ catalogue
Deft plates by Ollie Dabbous
Location overlooking Green Park
Former Best Sommelier of Ukraine, Dmytro Goncharuk leads a burgeoning sommelier team at this three-floor temple to the grape, brought to you by Hedonism Wines and chef, Ollie Dabbous...
“With such a large wine list it’s very easy to encourage guests to try something new at Hide,” says head sommelier, Dmytro Goncharuk, who was once crowned Ukraine’s best sommelier. “Every time I mention that our cellar comprises 800 wines – with 6,000 more available within 15 minutes or fewer from Hedonism Wines – my guests ask to taste something from a lesser-known region or producer, such as Weingut Wolmuth from the beautiful Sudsteiermark in Austria, which I recently visited.”
Accessed via leather-wrapped tablets, the list of head sommelier, Dmytro Goncharuk opens with the words, “a corkscrew, a glass, a memory…” Formerly Fakhreldine (a restaurant named after a Lebanese prince) 85 Piccadilly was totally re-oriented as a wine lover’s Mecca connected by an Instagram-friendly curvaceous staircase. With cork-wrapped pillars and vine leaf plasterwork, both restaurants, Ground and Above, and the inventive cocktail bar, Below, are a collaboration between Evgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana Fokina, the brains behind nearby wine megastore, Hedonism Wines, celebrated chef, Ollie Dabbous (a protégé of Raymond Blanc OBE), and mixologist, Oskar Kinberg.
The list is constantly changing, says Goncharuk, “updating in real time according to the stock on hand in Hedonism.” He is particularly proud of the selection of big bottles, running to over 160 bins, “from magnums to Methuselahs.”
On the mezzanine is the Michelin-inclined Above with a manicured cheese cart and views across to the kitchen and Greem Park, as well as the brightest of the four private rooms, Hide and Seek, served by its own lift. A further three private dining rooms, The Broken Room, The Shadow Room and The Reading Room, occupy alcoves beneath the Mayfair pavement and are distinctively decorated, including a banquette mounted on books.
Alongside the tasting menu at Above are three styles of wine pairings, featuring six accompaniments, from the £95 “Classic”, which might include Californian Old Vines Zinfandel (Turley) or Barolo (Scarzello), to “Iconic” at £250, with the option of Rioja Blanco Reserva (Remirez de Ganuza) or La Richemone Nuits-St-George (Domaine Perrot Minot) with nearly a decade of age. At the top end at £495 is the truly “Hedonistic” option starring such vinous luminaries as Quintarelli Amarone and Château d’Yquem from 1967.
Dishes realised by a brigade including Roux Scholar, Martin Carabott, may include Roast scallops, crushed swede with wood sage honey and spiced saffron buttermilk, then Wagyu beef shavings, Oscietra caviar and rye in a warm oxtail broth, then chocolate and burnt cypress bark to conclude…
Goncharuk thanks his father for inspiring him to make wine a profession. “It all started with his annual winemaking process in our garage: the process of harvesting, pressing and fermentation fascinated me. We used to make two wines: Seibel – a hybrid red grape created in Austria in the nineteenth-century with an intense colour and strong tannins, and aromatic Lidia, a variety found exclusively in Moldova and south-west Ukraine.” Prior to Hide, Goncharuk worked in Kiev’s leading restaurants, followed by positions in Dubai and Azerbaijan.
By Douglas Blyde.