Pied à Terre
34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
WLC Rank : 5
Glass from : £ 6 (125 ml)
BEST FORA selection of engagingly described wine flights
Central Fitzrovia location
Well priced wine inclusive lunch
Vegetarian and Vegan menus
David Moore’s Fitzrovia flagship features wines bought with care over the restaurant’s 26-year history, as well as fresh new finds.
Fluent in Mandarin, French and Spanish, British born Thomas Baxter is the unnervingly clued-up first-time sommelier in charge of one of the most interesting and complete wine lists in London.
At Fitzrovia’s tall townhouse, Pied à Terre, a refined restaurant nearing three decades of trading, Baxter oversees a list of ready to drink bottles (with a supplementary substantial inventory in bond) ranging from a delicious Muscadet in the late £20s to over £8,000 for Petrus ‘82. There is also an open-minded approach to corkage.
Restaurateur, consultant and TV personality, David Moore takes a strong interest in the list, which arrives at the table boxed in volumes, but can be quickly decoded by Baxter, who can adhere to a guest’s budget and preferences – or happily surprise them. Moore rose from the role of head waiter of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ to become an inspector on BBC’s The Restaurant alongside Le Manoir’s Raymond Blanc OBE, and as a flamboyant shirt wearing judge on Masterchef. As well as the Fitzrovia operation, he is a founding partner of the expanding London Cocktail Club collection, and Treboom Brewery.
The kitchens of Pied à Terre have launched an array of top chefs into international orbit, and are today overseen by thoroughly tattooed Greek head chef, Asimakis Chaniotis, who nicknames Moore his “British dad”. Chaniotis’ boldly beautiful plates are available via a range of menus including a wine inclusive set lunch rivalling the offer of that of Le Gavroche, as well as vegetarian and vegan tasting menus, and the seasonal tasting menu using micro suppliers who specialise in “singular ingredients.”
Begin with a cool flute of Sugrue Pierre’s The Trouble with Dreams from the South Downs, alongside irresistibly aromatic bread and Chaniotis’ family’s olive oil. Lunch follows with a leafy vegan salad woven with Turkish figs, caramelised walnuts and Greek verjus, possibly matched with a rested Chenin Blanc from Montlouis (Le Rocher des Violettes), then thyme honey glazed breast of duck from wetlands paradise, Challans with liquorice pepped by venerable, quintessential Bandol (Domaine Tempier). Finish with dynamic Tokaj made to the ‘Fordítás method, being enriched with the surpluses of greater wines, with a millefeuille of forced rhubarb with candied pistachios and elderflower mousse. End with arguably London’s finest cannelé de Bordeaux, a Kopi Luwak coffee, and complimentary Mastiha digestif.
There is also a chic bar with vinyl records such as Travelogue (Human League), and a private ‘Petite Chambre’ (once Moore’s bedroom) in which Baxter provides an intimate wine tasting package. There is the twice-monthly wine experience, too, looking at glass shapes, decanting, cellar creation, including a wine tasting and wine rinsed lunch.
By Douglas Blyde.
Waiter turned dynamic restaurateur and TV personality, David Moore rose from the role of head waiter of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ (then unheard of as a Brit) to become a familiar face on TV’s The Restaurant. The kitchens of Pied a Terre, his flagship multi-level Fitzrovia restaurant, chic bar and private dining room (which was once his bedroom) have helped launch a gamut of great chefs into international orbit.
Personable sommelier, Oliver Christie, who resembles a younger version of Michael Mcintyre, and takes time to listen to guests, began his career not in the cellars, but kitchens of one and two Michelin-starred restaurants, ‘which gave me a greater understanding of flavour and perhaps just as importantly, continuity in a meal,’ he says.
At Pied a Terre, Christie has helped create one of the most diverse wine lists in London, with bottles ranging from the late £20s to more than £8,000 (Petrus ’82) from prominent estates over multiple vintages. ‘One of the advantages of being a restaurant with a 26-year history is we do not have to use brokers and suppliers to find fine wine on the second-hand market. The majority of our fine wines were bought straight from the châteaux on release and have been cellared by us in our purpose-built cellars, or off premises in bond. By housing the bottles properly, we can be sure (as much as possible in the world of wine) that our wines are showing to their full potential.’
As well as high-end bottles, Christie delights in being able to offer more unusual finds, sometimes blind if you wish to play along, such as: Slovenian Malvaisa, Greek Viognier, Israeli Chardonnay, Quibia from Mallorca, an organic Serbian, and even Uruguayan Marselan. ‘Whether you are a professional, or just like a glass of wine, there will be something to surprise and excite.’
Acting as a global hub for wines, Christie believes the London wine market has never been stronger. ‘This is partly due to the city’s proactive approach to combating fraudulent wines as well as London-based buyers having a sole interest in good wine regardless of where it was produced.’
Despite what Christie terms the ‘inconvenience’ of Brexit, ‘leading to price increases throughout the industry’, he can see a silver lining. ‘Regions offering great value for money will see a surge in popularity and this can only make palettes more diverse and experienced…’
Athenian chef, Asimakis Chaniotis (formerly of RIP sister restaurant, L’Autre Pied) creates boldly beautiful plates, available via a range of menus, including a very good value set lunch, and, even better, the lunch ‘complete with wine’, as well as vegetarian and vegan tasting menus, and the seasonal tasting menu using micro suppliers who specialise in ‘singular ingredients’. Dishes may include: starter of 67° Octopus/Squid Ink/Piquillo Pepper/Spring Onion, then French Squab Pigeon/Shallots/Fondant/Blackberries/Confit Leg and Hay/Douglas Fir Smoked Sabayon, followed by, gregariously, ‘Lime Mousse with a glass of Tokaji, Exaltation’ (Nyulaszo, Holdvolgy).
Suppliers are included on a credit roll in the food menu, which also, charmingly features a track list of the musical playlist.
By Douglas Blyde.
Located in the heart of Fitzrovia, the Michelin-starred Pied à Terre was established in 1991, operating under the guidance of David Moore, and is part of Group Pied, which also includes Pied Consultancy and L’Autre Pied, its more relaxed, gastronomic sister restaurant in Marylebone.
Whether it’s a deep-rooted love for the classic French regions, or gems from around the New World, the depth here is outstanding. Service is among the best in town, complementing a beautiful list. In addition, the restaurant also offers set wine flights to complement a meal, from £62, and private wine tastings at its bar, from £55 a person. For £25 corkage, you can even bring your own wines with you. The list starts from a reasonable £27, rising to around £300, with an ample by-the-glass offer that rotates frequently.