Pizarro Ber­mond­sey

Food and Travel (UK) - - Tried & Tasted -

José Pizarro’s food is laced with nos­tal­gia for his child­hood home, Ex­tremadura. In­deed, this buzzy South Lon­don restau­rant is named af­ter the bar his grand­fa­ther owned in Talaván. The sleek ser­vice may be very ‘Lon­don’, yet its energy trans­ports us to cork forests where Ibe­rian pigs snuf­fle for acorns and Cáceres’s me­dieval streets, haunted by crowds spilling out of late-night ta­pas bars. The pas­sion­ate Span­ish at­mos­phere is in­fec­tious. As soon as we’re in­side we find our­selves ar­gu­ing about whether quail in ver­mouth vine­gar or beef rib smoth­ered with romesco sauce is the best slow-cooked op­tion, be­fore rec­on­cil­ing over man­zanilla sherry at the bar. The high­light of the menu is the pica pica (snacks). Mostly priced be­tween £3 and £12 they’re such good value you’d be jus­ti­fied in or­der­ing the lot, which is ex­actly what we did. Exquisitely cooked cro­que­tas are filled with unc­tu­ous béchamel and spinach fill­ing, fat sar­dines swim­ming in a mari­nade of sweet pep­pers and smoky aubergine are per­fectly bal­anced, while siz­zling prawns ar­rive with a spicy dip­ping sauce that’s lick-the-plate good. IL. 020 7378 9455, josepizarro.com

This month, we head south of the river for Span­ish snacks, un­cover Moroc­can gems, ex­pe­ri­ence a master­class in French fine-din­ing and re­turn to a Maryle­bone favourite

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