70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG
WLC Rank : 93
Glass from : £ 10 (125 ml)
BEST FORGrower Champagnes selected by Sandia Chang
James Knappett\\\’s authored dishes
Ringside seats at the precipice of the kitchen
Artisan Champagne and underrated Beaujolais are vinous draws at the revered Kitchen Table, spilling over from the jolly hot dogs and Champagne concept, Bubbledogs, to the front of the Fitzrovia venue.
“We are lucky to have extremely open-minded guests who ask for our recommendation. We always ask them what they normally drink and from there, we get them to try something new but still within their comfort zone,” advises the engaging Sandia Chang who, with husband and head chef, James Knappett, is co-founder of Fitzrovia’s Kitchen Table, supported by JKS Restaurants (which includes Gymkhana, BAO, Lyles and Sabor). This exclusive counter for a maximum of 20 guests is discretely set at the back of their gourmet hot dogs and Champagne bar, Bubbledogs.
Chang and sommelier, Valentina Ragazzo oversee a list which pulls focus on largely kindly priced, grower Champagnes, including her newest favourite producer, Dhondt Grellet, maker of “extraordinary Champagne from Flavigny near Avize and Les Mesnil in the Côte des Blancs.” Chang notes young winemaker, Adrien Dhodnt, “relies on a solera in all of his wines instead of reserve wines.”
Beaujolais has very much piqued her interest too, recently. “I find the wines there extremely underrated. We now highlight Beaujolais wines more so than Burgundy.” Hence the presence of Domaine Chapel’s Beaujolais-Villages, crafted by the David Chapel, son of chef Alain Chapel who garnered three Michelin stars.
Knappet’s 12-course tasting menu, awarded two Michelin stars, changes daily. One wine and food match saw Occhipinti SP68 Etna Bianco, made by Arianna Occhipinti whose uncle, Giusto owns the famous COS estate, “paired with our cheese course at that time which was onion tart Tatin with frozen Beauvale blue cheese and thyme oil,” recalls Chang.
The playlist at Kitchen Table is upbeat, says Chang. “James is sole dictator of music at Kitchen Table. All British bands from the 1960s to the present day which keeps the vibe lively and makes a good starter for conversations. I believe that when the vibe is fun, people tend to drink more!”
Chang and Knappett previously worked at Noma, Copenhagen and Thomas Keller’s Per Se, New York, and Chang also opened Roganic marque one. “We have had the honour to have hosted a lot of guest chefs and wine producers from around the world at Kitchen Table,” she says. ‘But, to this day, the most memorable event was when Thomas Keller came to our opening.”
By Douglas Blyde.