Bar Margaux – Earls Court Life
I do love a new kid on the Earls Court block. Especially when they make promise of ambrosial wine and mouth-wateringly fine food.
Bar Margaux opened its doors to great fanfare last Friday (despite the soft launch) and is already racking up some very positive reviews on all those national culinary websites.
With ex-Zuma and Iberica chef Xavier Castella Vilamajo at the helm you can expect some top-notch nosh and, given the French/Italian inspired menu, I’m not surprised to find seared foie gras and porcini risotto being uttered in the same breath here.
The 100 bin wine list focuses heavily on old world wines which makes me very happy indeed. Happier still was I to discover that many of these wines (at least 25) are served by the glass or carafe.
Dessert again has a Fritaly twist with options like passion fruit crème brûlée and amaretto sponge cake (mine!) but there is no pressure to have the full works, Margaux is primarily a wine bar that happens to serve brunch, lunch and dinner is all. That said, there are facilities for private wine tasting experiences downstairs.
The decor is modern and minimalist, with exposed brick and pipework, old-fashioned edison bulbs and mis-matched lampshades hang on wrought iron chain link at various intervals from the ceiling. Low lighting prevails during the evenings, as any self respecting wine bar knows it should. The breezy, spartan style throws good natural light during the day.
So without further ado I would like to welcome our newest drinking establishment to the Earls Court family! They’ve been packed full since opening so it looks as if everyone is already getting along swimmingly.Bar Margaux 152 Old Brompton Road London, SW5 0BE 02073735753
Rocco – Restaurant & Salumeria
I was terribly sad when Langhan’s finally closed its doors. An Earls Court fixture for almost thirty years the French brasserie seemed a hard act to follow even though diners had been steadily dwindling for years.
The site, nestled neatly under art deco residential blocks on the Old Brompton Road, is well over 3,000 square feet and when Rocco took over the plot in 2012 they certainly made the most of the light and space. With exposed brickwork, wooden beams and concrete floor it comes over as a thoroughly modern experience.
The food, however, is traditional Northern Italian and there’s not a pizza in sight. The menu focuses on the heavier pasta, ravioli and tortellini, all full in flavor and served often with a light sage and butter sauce so that you can really taste the fillings, which are delicious. All breads, pasta and desserts are made fresh daily on site.
The real gem here though is the salumeria. A salumeria in Earls Court! Connecting the restaurant to a small delicatessen on the left hand side of the eatery is a heavy steel bar where you can sit and sample the delights of Rocco’s charcuterie board. All sliced to order, as thinly or thickly as you like this is some of the best Proscuitto, Salami and Braesiola this side of Milan.
Treat yourself to a glass of Prossecco and charcuterie board when you’re not in the mood for a full dinner. Bellisimo!Rocco
254-260 Old Brompton Road , Earls Court
London, SW5 9HR
(0)2072592599 Mon-Sun 10am-12M
Best Italian – La Pappardella – Earls Court
Throw a rock and you’re bound to hit an Italian restaurant in London.
The same goes for Earls Court – there is a plethora to choose from – but there aren’t many I would proudly recommend to a hungry Italian.
La Papardella is one of the very few that make the grade, and right on my doorstep, what a treat! Unassuming and friendly from the get go, there is rarely an evening when you won’t find this eatery buzzing with clientele all tucking into some of the most delicious Italian fare this side of Puerta Banus, which is where founders Lucia and Tony set up their second sister restaurant.
The service is great; you are welcomed like an old friend and always offered a gratis shot of Limoncello to round off your meal. And what a meal you’ll have! A varied menu offers traditional starters; Bresaola e Rucola, Garlic and Tomato Pizza Bread, Bruschetta, Caprese – all fantastic. Pasta and Pizza range from regulars to downright daring – try the Spagetthi Neri All’Aragosta, a home made black ink squid pasta with diced whole lobster, bisque, garlic and fresh chili.
The Mascalzone is the right choice for anyone who can’t quite make up their mind, divided into two tasting pockets each containing an explosion of flavours and toppings.
A bit carbed out? Try Spigola All’Acqua Pazza, Fresh Butterfly Sea Bass, Mussells and Clams cooked in olive oil, garlic, white wine, chili and oregano, served with spinach. Bellisimo! A single espresso and a slice of Mamma’s Tiramisu leave little else to long for. Well, maybe a trip to Puerta Banus…La Pappardella 253 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9HP (020)-7373-7777 12 Noon to 12 Midnight