39 Whitfield Street, W1T 2SF
WLC Rank : 27
Glass from : £ 4.20 (125 ml)
BEST FORThe Special Wine List
The Specials from the kitchen
Cosy, couth, meaningful setting
Mathieu Germond‘s hospitality
Noizé’s logo - bovine meets crustacean - gives an indication as to the hearty food offer, best matched with steals from the Special Wine List...
The décor at Fitzrovia’s Noizé takes inspiration from the kitchen tiles in restaurateur, Mathieu Germond’s grandparents’ farmstead. With tiled borders and floors, oyster leaf coloured banquettes, and mirrors curving in the same way that the doors do at the farm, the result is much cosier and more characterful than when hallowed Dabbous starkly occupied these premises.
Germond, wonderfully throatily accented former co-owner and GM of nearby Pied à Terre, describes himself as “foremost a wine lover and wine drinker,” who considers himself “lucky to be able to earn a living from my passion.” He looks after a stunning doublet of lists at Noizé. The “basic” list ranges from the early £20s to late £60s per bottle and embraces classics as well as the new-wave (e.g. Australian Fiano). Then there is the “Special” list. This often features wines acquired on loan, subject to a £50 mark-up, with attainably priced treasures including 1986 Hermitage (J.L.Chave), 1989 Mas la Plana (Gran Coronas, Torres), 1999 Penfolds Grange and 1990 Château d’Yquem. Germond also offers keenly priced corkage, for which, he promises to look after a guest’s wine “like it was our own.”
Noizé’s logo recalls Greek mythology, fusing cow horn and lobster claw, giving an indication as to the food offer, authored by head chef, Dan Mertl (formerly of the “Chez Bruce school”, says Germond, Le Gavroche and The Savoy. Although the core menu is small, featuring perhaps starter of rabbit lasagna with fennel and mustard sauce, then Cornish cod with salsify, chanterelles and hazelnut pesto, there is a varied list of specials such as sweetbreads, duck tart with foie gras and duck egg, and lobster pasta. And with a little warning, Mertl can happily create a bespoke banquet.
Germond particularly enjoys pairing dishes with sweet and fortified wines, such as 18-month-old Comtes with Vin Jaune, and Sauternes with Roquefort. Be sure to try the Cheddar enriched gougères, perhaps with 1995 Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires Champagne…
By Douglas Blyde.
‘After more than 20 years working on the floor, it’s so exciting to be able to serve wines at the right price which are ready to drink,’ says Mathieu Germond, former co-owner and GM of Pied à Terre turned founder of Fitzrovia’s Noizé, located in the former site of the once hallowed Dabbous, and named after the tiny Loire valley hamlet in which his grandparents ran a farm. ‘I am foremost a wine lover and wine drinker and consider myself lucky to be able to earn a living from my passion,’ he adds.
Within the prettified – compared to the horridly industrial and disastrous of acoustics, Dabbous, that is – two-tier venue, discover a broad vinous selection on the core list, which may include dry Hungarian, ‘Juhfark’ (meaning sheep’s tail), Istrian Malvazija, and bush vine Chenin Blanc from the Swartland, as well as rare as a varietal, Nerello Cappuccio (Tenuta di Fessina) from Sicily.
‘The classics are also important – well known for a reason,’ says Germond. And he is right, hence the fine selection of Burgundy and Bordeaux present on the regularly updated, tantalising prestige list, featuring a maximum £50 mark-up per bottle, which may feature Dom Pérignon from 1996, Roulot Meursault, Art Series Chardonnay from Leeuwin Estate, Western Australia, rested Côte-Rôtie (Guigal), and Gaja’s Sori San Lorenzo, as well as 1995 Mas La Plana Cabernet (Torres), Penfolds Grange, 1983 Château Latour, and various vintages of Château d’Yquem.
Germond was born in Montlouis in the Loire and, prior to making London his home and thus helping spruce the city’s palates through his wine recommendations at Pied à Terre, worked ‘in the French Basque Country and Paris.’
Of founding Noizé, he says: ‘after 14 years as co-owner and restaurant manager of Pied à Terre, it was time to do something relaxed and convivial with good food and wines.’ However, his departure from Pied à Terre was no mean divorce. Indeed, likable and on-the-pulse, restaurateur, David Moore, the owner of Pied à Terre, worked with Germond on developing Noizé’s tasty concept.
Noting the keenly priced corkage rate of £20 per bottle, Germond says, ‘we look after a guest’s wines like it was our own.’
Noizé’s logo, fusing cow horn and lobster claw, gives a clue as to the potential food offer, authored by Ed Dutton, formerly of Pied à Terre, Pied Nus, Foiliage and Tom Aikens’ restaurant. Dishes may include a snack of Cheddar gougeres, starter of beef tartare with smoked eel and horseradish, then suckling pig belly with parsnip and pear, followed by Comte and a glass of Savagnin…
By Douglas Blyde.