- The Dish: Cod with clams, cucumber and sea beets
- The Place: Fitzroy, 2 Fore Street, Fowey PL23 1AD
- The Chefs: David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto
What? Following the success of Primeur, Westerns Laundry and Jolene, the team behind this trio of restaurants ,David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto, are heading out of London to open their latest venture, Fitzroy. It will be situated in the harbour town of Fowey on Cornwall’s South Coast, a stone’s throw away from the seafront, and will open its doors in June. The chefs will take advantage of the county’s natural larder and daily-landed seafood, with a cooking style led by produce and provenance.
The daily changing menu will be broken down into sections of dishes. For starters, there will be options like mussels escabeche (a dish generally fried then marinated in vinegar and spices) and crab soup with cultured cream.Larger dishes range from cod with clams, cucumber and sea beets, to spiced gurnard with shellfish sauce, potatoes and fennel.
“Having grown up in Cornwall, opening Fitzroy is going to be a return home where my love of food began. The menu will be a continuation of what we always do; uncomplicated cooking that allows the quality of the produce to speak for itself but with just a touch more precision,” said Gingell. “We’re so lucky to be so close to the source of everything the kitchen will be using– we have seaweed, flowers, herbs, roots, right on our door step, fantastic sardines available just around the corner in Mevagissey and in the spring we can go and pick wild plants, fermenting them so we can continue to use them throughout the year.”
Where? Situated at the corner of Fore Street and Webb, Fitzroy will be housed in a former Victorian bank built in 1900 in maritime style. Furniture will be hand built using local oak, while the ground floor dining roomwill feature individual tables and the kitchen counter, which is made with re-purposed mahogany from the building’s original wall panelling.
"We’re excited to venture outside of London to offer a more focused and precise dining experience with more time and less pressure,” said Cometto.“The old bank will lend itself to a more classical feel compared to our London restaurants while the understated maritime beauty of the town of Fowey provides a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.”
Why? A raft of new seafood-led restaurants is popping up around the country – partly in response to a greater desire for sustainability and provenance from consumers. The uncertainty around Brexit and the problems it could throw up sourcing food also appears to be a motivating factor.
Add the fact that people are looking to reduce their meat intake as well and seafood seems like a sensible option to get behind.
Big names in the chef world are putting their stamp on these concepts and backing UK produce.
Husband-and-wife team Robin and Sarah Gill, whose neighbourhood restaurants include The Dairy, Counter Culture and Sorella in Clapham, are opening Darby’s, an oyster bar, bakery and grill in Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms, at the end of May. It will continue their ethos of a produce-led menu using Robin’s close network of suppliers. While there will be pastries, cooked breakfasts and lunchtime sandwiches during the day, the interesting stuff is happening in the evening.
Guests at Darby will have the choice of perching at the central oyster bar for a selection of Ireland’s Dooncastle oysters, alongside dishes of native seafood such as mussels and pickles, Willy’s mackerel crudo and caviar with potato flatbread. The chefs will also fire up the grill with a menu cooked over open fire including day-boat fish, Lady Hamilton cod on the bone and Brixham wild turbot.
Back in November, Pop Brixton welcomed Roe, a restaurant that seats 32 and focuses on sustainable seafood from the British and Irish coast, sourced from small, independent suppliers. It’s the first solo venture from Simon Whiteside, the chef and co-founder of seafood restaurant Hook in Camden.
Dish highlights at Roe included ink and Guinness soda bread with seaweed butter, accompanied with either mackerel pate, whipped smoked cod’s roe or housesmoked salmon with horseradish; grey mullet Poitin ceviche with cucumber and lime; cuttlefish and ink arancini with pecorino foam and monkfish carpaccio with a roasted cauliflower puree and pickled shitake.
For bigger options, confit sea trout accompanied with sea greens and an oyster and sorrel emulsion sits alongside spiced ling with fermented lentils, roast onion squash and chard. There’s also a daily whole fish special.
Back out to the coast, Burgh Island Hotel in South Devon has just announced it will launch a h igh-end seafood restaurant, called The Nettleford. The menu will include lobsters and scallops caught close by in Beesands and fish sourced from day boats in Brixham.A classic cold platter of seafood will be offered with dressed Brixham crab, oysters, Falmouth mussels, razor clams and mussels.Other dishes on The Nettleford menu include sole veronique with Vermouth butter sauce and grapes, along with fresh oysters served with Granny Smith and wasabi, ginger soy and spring onion.
Another hotel that is looking to shake up its offering is The Goring, which has partnered with chef Nathan Outlaw to create a seafood restaurant that is due to open in late spring. The new endeavour will have a heavy tilt towards Cornish produce.
“Some of the best seafood in the world comes from the pristine waters around Cornwall,” said CEO Jeremy Goring. “We’re looking forward to bringing this West Country treasure to London, with the help of Nathan Outlaw.”