Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Sartoria's November menu and Forgotten Foods in Mayfair

Sartoria restaurant, Savile Row
~ Sartoria and the Slow Food Revolution

Last week invites and events took me to that great big bubble of allure and spectacle, London.  While there I found myself enjoying a show of dancing Koryaks at the Russian Embassy; eating oyster for the first time at the Photographer's Gallery; benefiting from a micro-polish facial at Cowshed; looking into a box of receipts left by Scrope Davies when he fled the country 200 years ago; mock falling over for the amusement of my niece, as well as, and not least, savouring Forgotten Foods at fine dining restaurant, Sartoria.  Busy week.

So to begin in the re-telling of tales, please follow me on a virtual tour of my fine dining experience at Sartoria's of Mayfair and find out a little bit more about Slow Food UK's Forgotten Foods.

Situated on the corner of Savile Row and New Burlington Street, Sartoria has been delivering a sophisticated, stylish dining experience for over 15 years to a loyal following.  The bar area offers light, quick meals along with cocktails like Savile Row Sling, Negroni, Tom Collins and Lychee Martini.  To the left, in the dining area tables are covered in long draped white cloth, the seating is a mixture of comfortable sofas and chairs and the wine glasses are long stemmed and slender. The room has a timeless, unshowy style, a canvas on which the food will appear, works of art by a Master Painter, er Chef.

Sartoria's November menu
Head chef, Lukas Pfaff began his career in Germany before moving to London to join Marco Pierre White as chef de partie at The Restaurant and then becoming head chef at Il Convivio, Belgravia.  In October, he became the newest member of Slow Food UK’s Chef Alliance and, as a result, added several Forgotten Food dishes to his Italian menu for November.

The Slow Food UK movement and its list of 69 UK Forgotten Foods, with the support of the prestigious Chef Alliance aims to re-introduce UK foods that are disappearing and support small producers and local, sustainable produce.

Three seasonal dishes have been added to their à la carte menu and are marked on the menu by the Slow Food Alliance symbol (a snail).

To start, Pfaff has created a dish of Morecambe Bay shrimps with a courgette and citrus tartare.  The presentation was superb, a tower of colour, comprising of grapefruit base, roman courgette, with golden brown shrimps on top.  It looked fantastic although, for me it lacked impact.

Middle White Pig at Sartoria
For main there is the truly autumnal combination of Middle White pig, cooked three ways, with black cabbage and cobnuts.  The Middle White pig has been in decline as a consequence of government policy after the Second World War, when pigs were directed  towards the bacon market and specialist pork breeders became less popular.  This was my absolute favourite dish of the night, the pork was so succulent, the cobnuts crumbled apart and the chipped potatoes a perfect side for a hearty, warming dish. Perhaps further enhanced by the dark, rain swept night outside.
To finish Pfaff offers a pudding of cocoa and almond served with Kentish cobnuts, (cultivated hazelnuts), sweet, nutty and very very local.  The combination was interesting as there was a contrast in textures, the smooth pudding contrasting with the crumbling nut, but it lacked light and shade.

To accompany our meal we had a variety of well chosen wines by our sommelier for the evening, Jose.  With over 230 entries on their wine list, Sartoria cover wines from the very best vineyards.  To begin we were offered Prosecco ‘Crede’ Bisol, a delightful choice with a light and delicate flavour. While in the bread basket, the pane carasau guttiau a thin and crisp flatbread from Sardinia, despite its humble appearance was worthy of note.  Throughout the meal Jose continued to bring light, white wines that suited our taste perfectly.  However, the absolute stand out, blow your mind with flavour, wine we had was the amazing Tokaji 5puttonyos, Royal Blue.  A dessert wine, sweet with an explosion of taste sensations.
Dessert wine, Sartoria

As with any dining experience, the service you receive plays a huge part in the overall impression.  Throughout the service was impeccable, unobtrusive yet attentive, polite, informed and incredibly warm.  The meal was unhurried (three hours actually), the food exceptional, in particular a mid course of artichoke and crab risotto was a winning combination of creamy and complementary flavours.

When food is wonderfully cooked, the meal becomes unforgettable; when the service is excellent, the restaurant gains loyalty.  Sartoria, excelled in both senses and can add some more loyal followers to the list.

Sartoria restaurant, London

Tel:  020 7534 7000

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