Page 0009

squaremeal.co.uk | 7

A

utumn is always a bumper time for restaurant

launches and the 35 most notable newcomers

reviewed in our new openings pages (pp.46-66)

show that the scene is in the rudest of health.

In fact, a recent study showed that Brits spend

a whopping 25% of their income on eating out.

Throw in lengthy waiting lists for tables the moment

booking lines go live at the likes of Sexy Fish, and it's easy

to see why operators from abroad must think that a site in

London is a licence to print money. In this issue alone, we have

reviews of Smith † Wollensky and Hotel Chantelle (p.62), both

from the USA; Estiatorio Milos (p.60), which arrives by way

of the US, Greece and Canada; and Casa Cruz, from a Buenos Aires-based restaurateur (p.56).

But gone are the days when we would unquestioningly accept these imports with gratitude;

we Londoners are now the most sophisticated diners in the world. The summertime ” op of

Le Chabanais proved that to prosper here, operators from overseas need to o• er something

that we can't produce ourselves. Indeed, as Calabria native Francesco Mazzei points out in our

interview ahead of the relaunch of Sartoria (p.68), the best Italian food in London now is being

cooked by British chefs such as Jacob Kenedy at Vico (p.58), while Kent-born Allan Pickett is a

dab hand at turning out comme il faut French food at Piquet (p.60).

And speaking of French food, even Parisian chefs now admit that London is the restaurant

capital of Europe (p.76). Whether it's the brothers behind Les 110 de Taillevent, opening as we go

to press, or the husband-and-wife team behind Frenchie, due in January, if you want to eat the

best French food London is the place to do it. Bon appétit.

AMY GRIER

Amy Grier is a freelance

food and lifestyle

journalist whose work

has appeared in Time

Out, Women's Health,

Stylist, Sunday Times Travel and Waitrose

Kitchen. She can be found tweeting

@amygrier, and in her spare time

endeavours to � nd new ways to make

the nickname 'A.A. Grier' stick.

Favourite winter market? Maltby Street.

Ultimate Christmassy spot in London? By the

giant Christmas tree next to the ice rink at

Somerset House, cheeks red from skating.

Best way to bulk up for colder months?

Cheese, and lots of it.

WILL HAWKES

Will writes about beer,

food and travel for

publications including

the Financial Times,

Daily Telegraph and

Washington Post. He contributes a monthly

beer column to the Independent Magazine,

and is editor of beer app Craft Beer London

and creator of beer week London Beer City.

Favourite winter market? Brockley Market

is my favourite in all seasons.

Ultimate Christmassy spot in London? The

Royal Oak in Borough: cosy, old-fashioned

and great beers.

Best way to bulk up? Eat lots of cassoulet.

JULIE SHEPPARD

Julie Sheppard is a

food, drink and travel

writer for publications

including the Sunday

Times, Time Out and

Waitrose Food Illustrated. As contributing

editor to Square Meal she scours the wine

world for brilliant bottles and also likes

a decent cup of tea (with cake, if you insist).

Favourite winter market? Birmingham (my

home town) hosts the biggest German

Christmas market in the country.

Ultimate Christmassy spot in London? Carols

at St Martins in the Field, then a stroll up

Regent Street at night under the twinkly

Christmas lights.

Best way to bulk up? Stew! Preferably beef,

and with big fat dumplings.

PUBLISHERS Mark de Wesselow, Simon White EDITORIAL Tel: 020 7840 6295

Editor Ben McCormack Assistant Editor Laura Foster Contributing Editor Julie Sheppard

News � Online Editor India Dowley Deputy News � Online Editor Neil Simpson

Editorial Assistant Rosie Morris Sub Editors Jill Cropper, Phil Harriss, Justin Hood, David Mabey, Amy Swales

DISPLAY ADVERTISING Tel: 020 7840 6273 Advertisement Director Charles Meynell Lifestyle Manager Kate Stephens

Account Director, Drinks Adam Wyartt Account Managers Gianni Buttice, Nissa Naik

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Art Editor Lauren Ozzati Printing Wyndeham Roche MARKETING Tel: 020 7840 6269 Head of Marketing Rachel Harty

Events Manager Chloé Kingham Events Planner Ed Warr Marketing Manager Paul Young Senior Marketing Executive

Mieke Kyra Smith CIRCULATION Tel: 0870 141 6101 COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Warwick Saint / August

A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. We believe our facts are correct at the time of going to press, although inevitably information changes,

which means care must be exercised. Reviews are subjective. Neither Monomax Ltd nor its agents or employees can accept liability for omissions or

inaccuracies. No material can be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher. © Monomax Ltd October 2015. ISSN 977-1369264-01-3-46

For reviews of 11,500 bars and restaurants nationwide,

plus venues for all your events: squaremeal.co.uk

Square MealLIFESTYLE

Published editor@squaremeal.co.uknt House, 250 Kennington Lane,

London, SE11 5RD Tel: +44 (0)20 7582 0222 Helpline: +44 (0)20 7840 6299

Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 5444 Email: editor@squaremeal.co.uk

contributors

Welcome to Square Meal

Ben McCormack, editor

68 | squaremeal.co.uk squaremeal.co.uk | 69

restaurants � food

F

rancesco Mazzei's name is known to

thousands of people who will never

eat in his restaurants but have tasted

his food nonetheless. Not because

they've made a recipe from one of his

cookbooks (his rst, Mezzogiorno, isn't

out until next month) or dined at L'Anima,

the bluechip City Italian where he was chef

patron until earlier this year. Nor is it because

they're looking forward to his arrival at

Sartoria, the Savile Row restaurant owned

by D�D London that Mazzei is set to revive

when it reopens in November.

No, they know Mazzei's name because

it's there on the menu at Pizza Express, right

above the Calabrese pizza that he created

for the omnipresent chain six years ago,

introducing the British high street to what has

now become the most famous ingredient

of his native Calabria: the spicy, spreadable

sausage called 'nduja.

After seven years cooking southern Italian food in the City,

chef Francesco Mazzei's aim is to bring the best food from

all over his native Italy to his new home on Savile Row

WORDS BEN MCCORMACK

"In Calabria they call me 'King 'Nduja',"

Mazzei laughs. "They treat me like a superstar:

every time I go home I'm on Rai TV. That pizza

has gone all around the world and the guys

who make the 'nduja do very well from it, it

gives jobs to 30 or 40 families. It's the best

compliment, not necessarily for a chef, but

for a person, when you do something good

and you really get something back which is

not money, it's not material - it's love and

respect. I think there is nothing better in life."

This pride in the best Italian ingredients

will continue at Sartoria. "The thing we keep

forgetting is how great, how simple, but at

the same time how sophisticated Italian

cuisine is. Italians don't complicate their lives

by putting things on the plate to look pretty.

We concentrate more on the ingredients.

We get crazy about ingredients, travelling

miles and miles to nd the right tomato or

the right extra virgin olive oil."

While Mazzei made his name introducing

the ingredients of southern Italy to British

palates, the menu at Sartoria will o—er food

from all over the country. "We'll do a nice

risotto, we'll do the best tortelli, we'll do the

best Milanese. I want people to come back

for that Milanese. They're going to trust

Sartoria and me for the quality of ingredients

rather than the presentation. We'll do the

best food that Italy can o—er."

Italian influence

Part of that o—ering will be breakfast. "When

you think about Italian breakfasts, you think

there's not much around, which is not true.

If you go to southern Italy, you've got all this

Spanish and Moorish in˜uence: it's a bit like

a Turkish breakfast. I'm doing a dish of 'nduja

and three di—erent eggs, which is called

'eggs purgatorio'. It's quite spicy. It's a dish my

grandmother used to have after she'd been

working in the garden for a few hours and

she needed some proper food."

There'll also be 'The Italian Job', basically a

take on a full English with Italian ingredients,

as well as pastries and cold meats. And

of course, no Italian breakfast is complete

A CUT

"ITALIANS DON'T COMPLICATE THEIR LIVES BY PUTTING THINGS

ON THE PLATE TO LOOK PRETTY OR TO LOOK AMAZING. WE

CONCENTRATE MORE ON THE INGREDIENTS"

Mazzei's beef tartare

above PHOTOS: LYDIA EVANS, YUKI SUGUIRA

la Révolution

restaurants � food

squaremeal.co.uk | 77

76 | squaremeal.co.uk

VIVE C

ocktail hour in Café Royal,

Piccadilly. Sitting opposite me

are two of the three Gardinier

brothers, Laurent and Thierry,

the French Corbin and King fresh

o  the Eurostar to oversee the

opening of Les 110 de Taillevent in the capital;

their …rst foray onto British soil.

It's fair to say they've got form. The

Gardinier family have owned two Michelinstarred

Le Taillevent, one of the most iconic

restaurants in Paris, since 2011, opening a

brasserie across the road the following year -

the …rst Les 110 de Taillevent, named for the

remarkable number of wines available to buy

by the glass, as well as the bottle.

The celebrated London opening on 21

October signals more than just a hefty boost

to the West End's wine economy, sited as it is

on Cavendish Square, close to Oxford Circus.

The arrival of two Gardiniers (middle brother

Stéphane looks after other family ventures)

marks a sea change in the global food scene,

with London further cementing its position

as the gastronomic capital of Europe.

"When you are looking for a big foodie city

in Europe the obvious answer is London,"

says youngest Gardinier sibling Laurent,

explaining why they chose our city, despite

the age-old culinary rivalry. "Let's stop this

stupid war and competition between London

and Paris. There are great chefs and great

restaurants on both sides. We [the French]

don't have anything to teach the English.

There is room for us here in London." A bistro

serving 110 of the best wines in the world by

the glass? Damn right there's room.

The brothers go on to tell me that 110

will have its own cellar, just as their French

venues do, but this one will also carry a host

of British wines, as well as unique bottles

from other world regions not found in their

establishments in Paris.

"It's about taking inspiration from the

country you …nd yourself in. We will do the

same with the food - modern interpretations

of classic French dishes, with British seasonal

produce," explains Thierry. "In London, we

will also be open for breakfast, pairing the

dishes on the menu with a selection of hot

and cold beverages. Paris doesn't really have

a breakfast scene, but here it's huge, so it's a

good opportunity to try something di erent."

Open-minded

There are a few reasons why so many French

restaurateurs, bar owners and chefs are

nding such success this side of the channel:

one being emerging di erences between

diners and the establishments they frequent.

There's a food revolution afoot: as leading French restaurateurs come and set

up shop on this side of the channel, Square Meal investigates how London has

managed to take the crown as the gastronomic capital of Europe WORDS AMY GRIER

"WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BIG FOODIE CITY

IN EUROPE THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS LONDON"

LAURENT GARDINIER

Angus beef �llet with

baby gem lettuce at Céleste

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