artichoke salad

Pizarro: A birthday celebration

A sunny Saturday lunchtime was the setting for a friend’s birthday. Bermondsey is one of the places to be on a weekend, and we were frequenting one of the better restaurants along the strip: Pizarro. The tiny sister tapas bar Jose always has people spilling out the door.

I cannot take credit for any of the great food choices, or the wines that were chosen to pair with them. Please direct all praise to James Ceppi. All wines supplied by Bancroft.

Here’s a copy of the menu:

menu

First up was an arrangement of tapas to share, my favourites being the melt in your mouth jamon, the Jerusalem artichoke which was served on a heavenly bed of whipped goats curd and the squid.

artichoke salad

artichoke salad

As soon as I saw the Jerusalum artichokes on the menu I had doubts about whether they would pair well with wine, but surprisingly they really worked well with the Domaine des Chezelles Touraine Sauvignon. We nicknamed it ‘the Sancerre slayer’ due to its great quality at a less eye-watering price tag than its more famous rival. In fact, Touraine Sauvignon in general is something which I consider as being quite underrated and great value for money.

sancerre slayer touraine sauvignon

The Sancerre Slayer

squid

squid

The squid was really tender and worked so well with the Tempestad Godello. Godello is in fact a lesser known grape variety which hails from Rias Baixas in Spain, a region far better known for its Albarinos.This example comes from Valdeorras in Galicia.

Godello

Godello

The wine has a very subtle flavour profile so it doesn’t overpower the delicate squid, but is also very zesty so it almost acted like a squeeze of lemon when paired together.

Medium rare onglet

Medium rare onglet

Next was the main, with three tasty sounding choices I plumped for the beef, which was a perfectly cooked piece of onglet on a bed of creamy mash.The Lan Rioja was the perfect foil for the beef, and its big hit of vanilla and worked particularly well with the sweet slow-cooked shallots that accompanied the beef.

everything tastes better in magnums

everything tastes better in magnums

At this point we had a cheese course, which included delicious Spanish cheeses such as manchego and mahon. I love the European way of having a cheeseboard before the dessert – it’s the way it should be!

Then finally the dessert that was billed did not appear. Instead we had a baked custard which was really delicious with delicate notes of cinnamon and vanilla. The wine pairing? The Tacchino Moscato d’Asti – the superior version of Asti Spumante which was famous in the 1980s. The sweet grapey flavours of the wine were at just the right level to match with the dessert, with enough acidity to cut through it at the same time.

Baked custard with sweet fizz

Baked custard with sweet fizz

Bonne Anniversaire Jenn!

Pizarro: 194 Bermondsey St  London Borough of Southwark, London SE1

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