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.