openings

Eat this: Maremma

Italian food goes regional with this new restaurant, set to open in Brixton with traditional Tuscan dishes.

14 December 2018
chefsitalianmeatrestaurants
  • The Gist: Italian food gets broken down into its very delicious parts
  • The Chefs: Co-founder Alice Staple and head chef Dominique Goltinger
  • Location: 36 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE
  • Food in 5 words: Steak, arancini, aperitivo – Tuscan style
  • See more: www.maremmarestaurant.com

How did we get here?

This February, Alice Staple and Dickie Bielenberg will open Maremma, taking inspiration from the region of the same name in southern Tuscany. The unspoilt coastal area is famed for its salumi, seafood, olive groves and vineyards.

Long-standing private chef Staple will be cooking simple, regional dishes from her travels at the Tuscan neighbourhood trattoria.

What’s different about it?

While Italian food is everywhere in the UK, it has largely stayed fairy safe with its pastas, pizza and perhaps a chicken cacciatore. But as other cuisines – like Indian and Chinese – become more regional, Brits are waking up to the fact that fare from the Boot is far more nuanced, with at least 20 distinct styles of cooking and food. In fact, earlier this year Ed Loftus, F&B director for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, said he plans to take the chain into uncharted – or, at least, underexplored – Italian territories next year.

Staple has a life-long love of Italian cooking and has crafted a menu championing Maremma, divided into four sections: antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci. For those after a lighter snack, the Spuntini menu offers a choice of focaccia, leccino olives or seasonal arancini, which will also be available with a classic Italian cocktail Wednesday to Saturday from 5.30pm – the hour for aperitivo.

Maremma’s concise wine menu has also been cherry-picked by Staple and Bielenberg, digging into small producers, all of which will be available for the first time in the UK.

“I’ve always dreamed about bringing a bit of the Maremma to Brixton,” said Bielenberg. “After countless visits, Alice and I have a shared love for this region, and were won over by its fine produce, fine wine and charm. We have been lucky to have met some wonderful people there, some of which are now going to be our suppliers.”

You’ve got to try...

A Tuscan classic called La bistecca alla Fiorentina: steak from Chianina cattle – an ancient breed known for its prized and tasty meat – cooked with rosemary and sage.

Sparkie also likes...

Acquacotta, a traditional Tuscan soup meaning ‘cooked water’ that is packed with vegetables and torn-up toasted bread, and served with a poached hen’s egg.Plus, the wild boar prosciutto.

Go if...

You want to re-enact your own version of Under the Tuscan Sun, munching on authentically sourced produce while sipping Bolgheri Superiore.

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