Sunday 5 February 2012

Pizarro: my new favourite restaurant?

I have now been to Pizarro three times in as many weeks, I fear that at this rate I may be judged to be addicted.  This episode started just before New Year when, having failed to get into Jose, Jose Pizarro's sister restaurant also on Bermondsey Street, we decided to try our luck at Pizarro.  I then returned on New Year's Eve for a full-blown feast.  Finally I went again the other weekend for a friend's birthday after the wait at Brindisa turned out to be over an hour.

While the food at Brindisa is always good, that on offer at Pizarro has to date has been even better - every dish has been exceptional.  The first visit we shared all of the starters as tapas between the three of us, the croquettes (more on them later) and the squash and pomegrante salad were the stand out plates.

On New Year's eve, the Fashionista and I went to town.  We started with a couple of glasses of cava and were expertly guided through the options by the excellent somellier.  His favourite was not normally served by the glass but in order to allow us to try, he opened a bottle especially.  We shared a plate of the Manuel Maldonado jamon iberico with the cava - this is expensive stuff at £20 a plate but it delivers on every level.  Sweet, salty, almost treacly flavours linger long after you have finished.

I then moved onto the sherry list - which showcases an exceptional array of Spain's best (there's a choice of nineteen)- the Fashionista tried a rose cava - again expertly guided by our sommelier.

We then had the croquettes - little bombs of gooey, rich, delicious potato and cheese.  These are absolutely incredible - I now doubt I will ever be satisfied with a croquette again in any other restaurant.

Not satisfied with two starters between us, we then shared some beef tartar with a soft yolk egg on top - well seasoned tender beef with deliciously rich yolk.

I had a main course of sea bass, morcilla (Spanish black pudding), piquillo peppers and mash.  Crispy skinned sea bass with earthy morcilla and sweet but tart peppers- I had tapas version of this dish at Jose but Pizarro's larger version did not disappoint.

The Fashionista had the bacalao (salt cod), she was suitably impressed.

We normally finish with cheese but the desserts looked too interesting to pass up on - we went for the toast, a nutella style ice cream, vanilla ice cream and sea salt.  Not your normal dessert but it worked wonderfully - the sea salt and nutella paste together were a treat!

Everything we ate that night was incredible.  Brindisa was very good, Jose delicious, but with Pizarro, Jose Pizarro has truly arrived.  A chic but comfortable space, incredible service and course after course of delicious food.  I cannot recommend Pizarro enough.

P.S. On a later visit, four of us shared a whole leg of lamb for the Ginger Weegie's birthday.  Around 2 kg of lamb was served up in a wonderful broth with garlic roast potatoes and chicory salad - the perfect dish for a celebration!
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