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15 New Burlington Place
The Frescobaldis have been making wine in Tuscany for more than 700 years and were purveyors of fine vintages to the court of Henry VIII; today, their Gorgona brand is produced with help from the inmates of a penal institution, as an aid to social integration. This blend of history and modern thinking also carries over to the food at the company’s first standalone restaurant. There are traditional Italian platefuls to be had (buttery gnocchi with earthy porcini, veal cutlet with mash etc), but also contemporary twists – think sea bass carpaccio with pink peppers, soy and celery or an elegant tiramisu presented as a demi-globe of mousse drizzled with coffee reduction. Frescobaldi wines, along with their own olive oil (the only condiment on the table), are served with graceful precision in the high-ceilinged, light-filled room and cosy basement bar.
From: 14 November 2018
To: 14 May 2019
From a set menu.
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15 New Burlington Place
Oxford Circus Tube Station 311m
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 538m
Kingly Street 89m
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
The Frescobaldi’s have a long and glorious history, stretching back over 700 years. Throughout wars, changes in government and more, the family has continued to thrive, growing food and making wine in Tuscany. Their first restaurant offering opened in London in 2014. That it has survived 4 years is an achievement, given not only the city’s cut-throat dining scene and exorbitant rents, but also since it is located in an obscure side street and is by no means cheap, even by Mayfair standards. I guess the conclusion is that persistence pays off; the Frescobaldi’s are in this for the long-term and what they do, they do mostly very well. The food and drink were both excellent and even on the Monday lunchtime when my comrade and I visited, the venue seemed to be doing a good trade. The side-street (just off Regent Street) can, of course, be a blessing: only those in the know get to visit, while sitting al fresco without constant traffic is very pleasurable. The main dining room is also tastefully decorated, with high ceilings and a beautiful central wine bottle display. Food-wise, the emphasis is, unsurprisingly, on produce from Tuscany, with much (from bread to pasta) made in-house. The olive oil which accompanied our bread similarly comes from the Frescobaldi’s own estate. My comrade and I both began with homemade chicken liver pate, a generous portion which was deeply rich, earthy and very satisfying. A lobster and chilli linguine main undoubtedly showed the chef’s skill in pasta production (which had a lovely balance and density to it), but the accompanying lobster was stingy and the chilli almost non-existent – not really what I would expect for £27. A set two-course lunch menu is available for £25, but dining a la carte can see customers paying up to £26 just for a starter or £60 for a main. Similarly, wines – although good (like our 2014 Nipozzano) can see wild mark-ups and extend into the four-figure range. Frescobaldi has probably done its homework – and knows there is a target market for this sort of thing. If nothing else, the Frescobaldi’s seem to have staying power and look to be in this for the long-term.
I have eaten here a few times, and the quality of the food, service and wine is consistently good. The one thing that I notice is that it has a mostly male-dominated clientele and is quite business formal during the week – I wonder what the weekend crowd is like. We had a veal escalope and a veal chop, both beautifully cooked, with green beans and zucchini fritti and 3 glasses of wine, and a bowl of sorbet for £120. The bread basket is very good, as is the olive oil for dipping. Rather peculiar was the jars of sweets (haribo, lollipops etc.) that were brought to the table at the end of our meal – I could understand the 2 jars of shortbread had we had ordered a coffee, but we didn’t.
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