Resto 35 José Pizarro at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly

José Francisco maintained an empire in the New World, José has his in London.

At the RA for the Making Modernism exhibition I was very pleased to find that the RA is doing Friday lates once more. The exhibition was a bit uneven – it really is very unfair to pair Käthe Kollwitz with ANY artist given the emotional depth of her work, although of the rest Gabriele Münter did her best to hold her own.

The dining experience before/afterwards was the exact opposite of the haplessly infuriating Ochre. Having a bit of time to kill prior to the exhibition I asked the manager if I could grab a glass of wine. Pointing out that she was still clearing up after a pretty raucous group of 30-odd there was the whiff of hassle which I think we both defused with a bit of eye-rolling and boff. A white Rioja arrived swiftly and a booking for post-art food as arranged without the need to look at my email account.

The room is beautifully airy and cheerful with a smattering of high quality art around the walls to keep your eyeballs entertained if conversation gets slow. The menu is tapas with something for all levels of carnivorousness, as well as an excellent (Spanish) wine list. I kicked off with a fino and a smatter of standard tapas – bread/olives/boquerones/iberico – to see what standard of grubbage we were dealing with. Major grubbage of the highest quality it turned out. The ham was melt on the tongue delicious and the bread was a generous portion of tangy good stuff. Not always a fan of the anchovy these were fat little bastards that were almost sweet.

A second round of food rolled in with a white Rioja. Cheeses (blue, sheep and goat), a tomato salad and the star of the whole thing, which turned out to be a lettuce chopped in half and topped with an unctuous dressing and grated cheese. I wanted another one before I’d even finished it.

It’s not often I go onto dessert but hell, it’s Christmas, so we shared a saffron custard with a knockout PX to wash it down. Service throughout was outstanding, especially given they’d had a pretty busy afternoon. It’s not often I give it out but this was a definite …

9/10

The manager of Ochre should be made to spend an afternoon there just to learn what a gallery restaurant can be.

To see where else I’ve been click on the google map below.

Art Food London

f1insburyparker View All →

Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).

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