LPM Restaurant & Bar
53-54 Brooks Mews , Mayfair, W1K 4EG
WLC Rank : 57
Glass from : £ 8.90 (125 ml)
BEST FORRosé wines, rosy décor,
Flights of Domaine de Trévallon and Jean-Louis Chave
An 1830 Madeira
Timeless, lightened Mediterranean dishes
“There’s no city like London, and I’m very grateful to meet so many nice people and thanks to them to become what I am,” says head buyer and sommelier for LPM globally, Andrea Fasan.
Located in a private mews beside Claridge’s, London’s La Petite Maison relaunched as LPM with a seafood bar. With art and flowers and dreamy pastel tones, it was the cossetting sequel to the original restaurant on Nice’s Rue Saint-François de Paule which, 30 years on, still magnetises a celebrity clientele. Other restaurants followed in the lands from where the original guests flocked: Dubai, Miami, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.
Group sommelier and wine buyer, Andrea Fasan was born in the Veneto where he helped run his family’s bars, learning French, the language “of cuisine” and German “for the tourists”, subsequently “packing bags” for London in 1998 to learn English while earning money “as a chambermaid” in a boutique Baker Street hotel. “In two weeks, I went from chubby to fit, learning about the details needed for the job – and I still check my room when I check-in to a hotel today!”
A good friend gave him a step up to The Ritz where he became chef de rang in the grand restaurant, before moving to the private casino, 50 St. James, with its starry bar led by “Maestro”, Salvatore Calabrese and no fewer than six dining options, being French, Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, Lebanese and Chinese. It was here Fasan’s interest in French wines grew when gamblers “who were throwing money on the table” turned to prestige bottles for comfort in moments of financial loss. “Lafite, Romanée-Conti and Palmer were our house wines,” Fasan half-jokes. The latter Margaux left a particular impression on Fasan who includes a “Petit Voyage Au Château Palmer” back to 1975 on his list at LPM London today.
Fasan says the harmonious, Mediterranean dishes of Nigerian-born group chef, Raphael Duntoye, including an obligatory, excellent salade Niçoise, salt-baked line caught sea bass with artichoke, and warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream, makes selling wine easier for his team, including stalwart sommeliers, Johnghyun Jung and Paolo Francesco. Of having raised sommeliers who went on to take up head sommelier roles of their own, Fasan says, “it’s like when you look after a vine.”
A highlight of the LPM list is the selection of rosés from Provence, “and not just Côtes, but Bandol, Cassis and Aix,” often offered in big formats. And to bolster Champagne sales, Fasan also made fitter the selection of “Les Petits Récoltants” alongside Grande Marques, hence expect De Venoge Louis XV to rub shoulders with Pol Roger’s Winston Churchill.
During the lockdown, Fasan supported his teams at LPM’s other locations, frequently working under strict curfews in locations such as Miami. And, on account of missing the travel component of his role, he found solace in reading books by travel writers.
By Douglas Blyde.