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...
Fitzrovia’s Noizé takes inspiration from the kitchen tiles in restaurateur, Mathieu Germond’s grandparents’ farmhouse. Hence the particular tiles on borders and floors and the mirrors curving in the same way that doors do at the farm. The result is much softer than when Ollie Dabbous (of Hide) ran his stark, seminal eponymous restaurant here before.
Germond is the throatily accented former co-owner and GM of nearby Pied à Terre. He 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 duo of lists at Noizé. The first list ranges from the mid-£20s to late-£70s per bottle and embraces classics as well as the more intriguing, such as the still Xarel·lo from Catalonia, Macedonian Moschomavro, and minimal intervention Vin de France Cinsault. And then there is the “Special” list. This often features wines acquired on loan, with attainably-priced treasures including Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc, mature Chardonnay Allegra from Lethbridge in Geelong, 1983 Château Talbot in magnum, 20-year-old Domaine de Trévallon, and museum-grade Ornellaia. Post-lockdown, Noizé has “sold a lot of very good wines” hence the lists are under constant renewal. Germond also offers generously-priced corkage and 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. Supplementing the core menu, featuring perhaps starter of ballotine of foie g with golden raisin purée and figs, then grilled rump of veal with Pied Blue mushrooms, 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, given the name of the village, the appropriately titled 2013 Brice Grand Cru Rosé from Bouzy… On the subject of Champagne, as the UK was due to depart from the EU, Charles Heidsieck held a memorable dinner here to celebrate the enduring friendship of the French and the British.
Although hard professionally, the lockdown proved beneficial for Germond’s personal life, “with no rush, doing lovely walks in quiet London.” A keen DIY fanatic, Germond also redecorated the restaurant.
The many messages of support during the lockdown led to a renewed sense of motivation in the team. “Small details are less important after those hard moments but personality and smiles are key now,” says Germond.
By Douglas Blyde.