Pied à Terre
34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
WLC Rank : 4
Glass from : £ 7.50 (125 ml)
BEST FORNew chef’s table
Well priced wine inclusive lunch
The option of a vegan tasting menu
Rested bottles collected over many years
David Moore’s Fitzrovia flagship features wines bought with care over the restaurant’s history, now approaching three decades, as well as fresh new finds.
Yves Demarais became a Master Sommelier in 1992 at 26 years old. “People say I must be an old man, but actually I’m quite youthful!” he remarks. Since gaining his first job at The Stafford Hotel, “tasting Bordeaux and Burgundy daily with Gino Nardella,” the Rhône-born, long-range cyclist and avid swimmer has been respectful of classic regions including Bordeaux and Burgundy. He subsequently worked with Gary Rhodes, “a perfectionist chef who really understood wine and food combinations,” as well as Hotel Café Royal, Lutyens (RIP) and The Arts Club, “where we sold a lot of fine wine like Penfolds Grange.”
At Fitzrovia’s tall townhouse, Pied à Terre, holder of Michelin accolades since 1993, Demarais enjoys supplying wines to the new kitchen table which replaces the bijou bar, built in collaboration with Martin Moore Design and Gaggenau. Here, a maximum of eight partakes in up-to 22 courses. Martin Moore is not incidentally a relation of Pied à Terre’s flamboyant, droll Irish restaurateur, David Moore. Born in County Monaghan Ireland, David Moore’s CV includes Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Le Louis XV. In addition to the restaurant, he is a founding partner of the multi-branch London Cocktail Club, a backer of the Treboom Brewery and publican of The Devereux at Temple, which is “flying as an old-fashioned boozer!” he gleefully reports.
Demarais aims for “balance” in the 800-bin list, noting Pied à Terre’s dining room, “is not a place for orange wines.” Even at the lower end, wines must offer “outstanding value” and “balance” including the Bergerac Sec made by a producer he followed “for many years.” Those hundreds of bins are supplemented by a large reserve bought en primeur by restaurateur, David Moore, some of which feature in the novel 100 Club List in which wines such as Coche-Dury Aligoté and a well-rested Château Lagrange are all offered at £100, “giving it away in an anti-dry January drive,” says Moore.
Demarais describes the cuisine of Athens-born head chef Asimakis Chaniotis as, “French-Greek” and has correspondingly discovered a fondness for Greek varieties such as Assyrtiko and Malagousia when in the hands of “a new generation of young winemakers.” Matches may include seared foie gras with carrot velouté, ginger and the supposedly beneficial for the gut, Greek Trahana with Irouleguy (Herri Mina), and bright Pouilly-Fuissé with skate wing, black curry, vanilla, seaweed and grapefruit. Culminate with arguably London’s finest cannelé de Bordeaux, a Panama Geisha coffee, and complimentary Greek Mastiha digestif.
Of Demarais, Moore, who is a proven nurturer of, and investor in, talent says, “he is a very mature and solid character – a quiet man who doesn’t totally recognise his own talent.”
By Douglas Blyde.