January. Meh. It’s cold, we’re all skint and payday still feels like lightyears away. Well, fear not because new restaurant Ampéli is opening its doors on Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia. With a former Nopi chef at the helm, acclaimed artwork on the walls and a wine list crafted by a Greek master of wine, it’s sure to be a hit. Oh, and did we mention there will be 50% off food from 10th – 14th January? We’ve got your back.
Taking cues from the modern wine-focused restaurants of Athens, Ampéli will feature dishes inspired by both Greek and Eastern Mediterranean cultures. Accompanied by a list of indigenous wines from across the Greek mainland and its islands it has a strong focus on the innovative producers creating a stir in the country’s wine scene.
Trust us – we LOVE Greek wine. There’s a lot to love. So we’re very excited to work our way through this list.
A typical evening might start with a glass of Greek sparkling, moving on to new age Retsina before settling on a vibrant Agiorgitiko or elegant Xinomavro. The list also features a wide range of Assyrtiko, a thrilling and intense grape which has boomed in popularity over the past few years. As well as crowd-pleasers, the list also features a section dedicated to new wave natural and low intervention wines from across the country, including skin contact orange wines. Finally, there’s a section of ‘Discoveries’, rare native Greek varieties produced in very small quantities, a treat for the intrepid wine lover.
As mentioned, the kitchen will be led by Head Chef Oren Goldfeld who has previously worked at Nopi and Tel Aviv’s acclaimed Toto restaurant. At lunch and dinner, guests can begin with social plates, perfect for sharing over a glass of wine. These include feta saganaki with tomato jam; okra and goat’s cheese fritters; and smoked cod’s roe dip with lavash crisps. Next, there are plates inspired by the food of the Eastern Mediterranean coastline, such as spiced potato brik with soft egg yolk, brown shrimp and harissa mayo; herb and Nabulsi sheep’s cheese manti; and braised cuttlefish with orzo and Moroccan red pepper sauce. For something heartier, there’s pan-fried Welsh lamb sweetbreads with Jerusalem mixed spice, a punchy blend of cardamom, cumin, turmeric, allspice and paprika, served with almond sauce and pickles; or a comforting short rib stew with quince and date molasses. The desserts include poppy seed loukoumades – doughnuts with Greek mountain tea syrup; and an indulgent chocolate mahlab mousse with hazelnuts.
Ampéli will also be running 50% off food from 10-14th January.