For lovers of Jose Pizzaro’s existing restaurant ventures, with tapas bars on Bermondsey Street and Broadgate Circle, as well as a gastropub in Esher, you’ll be delighted to know that he’s now opened not one, but two restaurants in the heart of Mayfair.
The slightly fancier of the two is Jose Pizarro at the Royal Academy of Arts (known as Jose Pizarro at the RA), which has taken over the stunning Senate Room. With huge sash windows that let in plenty of natural light, pink and white walls and high ceilings, guests can enjoy their Spanish feast in supremely grand surrounds.
Pizarro says: 'When you see art, it's all about how it makes you feel… your whole body responds, it's the same with food – well, good food anyway! The creativity and soul that you find in food and art is the same… you get the same excitement. To be able to bring the two together makes me so happy – it's an incredibly proud moment for me in my career.'
Guests can choose from the a la carte menu for a selection of hot and cold tapas dishes. Cold options start at £3.50 for nibbles, such as sourdough and olives, along with the likes of jamon Iberico, pickled white anchovies, smoked sea trout with salad roe and a cheese selection complete with pear compote and quince.
From the hot menu, which starts at £5.50, the list of quintessentially Spanish dishes continues. Take your pick from pan con tomate, spicy prawn fritters with lemon allioli, honey toast with Sobrasada and Mahón cheese, slow-cooked chorizo in red wine and confit leeks in burnt butter. The list goes on, with each dish as tempting as the last.
It’s useful to note that from 3:30pm the restaurant runs a reduced menu, although we’re promised it’s just as lovely as the full offering. This includes seven savoury tapas plates, plus nine sweet dishes – perfect with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee. Choose from walnut tart with yogurt ice cream, basque cheesecake with peaches or saffron custard with sherry vinegar and crumble. We challenge you to narrow your choice down to just one.