Tucked away in the cul-de-sac of Mayfair’s New Burlington Place awaits an authentic contemporary Tuscan ‘wine and dine’ experience called Frescobaldi.
Recently opened in November 2014, this is the first standalone restaurant and wine bar in the UK for the Frescobaldi family, one of Italy’s oldest and most respected wine dynasties and is in collaboration with the Good Food Society, a new hospitality venture promoted by two entrepreneurs, Levent Büyükuğur and Sanjay Nandi.
The smart Italian restaurant is dressed with nods to Italian trattoria-style décor; white ceramic tiles are artistically designed with a Roman male caricature wrapped in grape vines and holding a glass of wine, warm wooden furnishings and mood lighting.
Head sommelier, Fabrizio Pavlic, introduced us to the Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi estate’s exquisite Italian wines that make up 75 per cent of the wine list. With his skill and expertise, Pavlic paired a fantastic flight to beautifully complement the flavours of our meal.
We started with an antipasti dish of burrata, a soft, creamy cheese from Puglia, with rocket, pesto and fresh tomatoes, a plate of zucchini fries and a moreish plate of seabass carpaccio dressed in pink peppercorns and soya sauce and topped with crunchy, zingy celery. Sommelier Pavlic poured us a glass of Castello di Pomino bianco – an easy-drinking white chardonnay with pinot grapes from high altitude vineyards – we highly recommended a try. He also invited us to taste Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato – another mellow, fresh wine with a soft copper hue.
Talented chef Roberto Reatini bestows his culinary skills on the menu with a flavoursome and uncluttered menu of dishes to that are set to transport you straight to the Med. The Frescobaldi family is also associated with one of the world’s finest olive oils, Laudemio, which we found at our table to enjoy with a selection of warm baked breads.
For our mains, or secondi, we opted for the roasted turbot with roasted potatoes, samphire, lemon sauce and a side of grilled vegetables and the fillet of beef with black cabbage and pumpkin with a side of black truffle fries. Pavlic paired my fish dish with a delicately lighter ruby-red glass of Castello di Pomino pinot nero and a more robust, full-bodied Nipozzano chianti rufina to accompany the cut of red meat.
For the Frescobaldi finale, we decided to go for the crunchy, creamy and tart raspberry mille-feuille and the apple and walnut cake with vanilla ice-cream. Our flight experience was rounded off with another complementary glass of Friuli Attems picolit collio dessert wine with a reduced level of sweetness to cleverly balance out the flavours.
If eating al fresco in Tuscany is not on the cards any time soon, then London’s indoor dining at Frescobaldi will be a good match for enjoying the region’s finest wines and fresh Italian flavour.
By Reena Patel