As a renowned pioneer of new spanish cooking, José Pizarro has gone solo in Bermondsey and it’s totally paying off. The launch last week was utterly fantastic, we were served a natty little array of tapas plates, adorned with simple, seasonal food accompanied by some delicious wine and my personal favourite, Tio Pepe sherry.
José has managed to create an atmospheric space that brings together the informal bustle of the tapas bars at La Boquería in Barcelona with the traditional tapas bars found in the hot, dusty towns and villages of Andalucía. He has designed José for informal eating and drinking, aiming to challenge us Brits to eat while standing – the bar has no seating but plenty of high wooden tables on which to rest plates of the colourful snacks – well we stand in a pub, so why not in a restaurant?
Its menu changes daily according to what looks good at the market, featuring delights such as razor clams a la plancha, spring lamb chuletillas with alioli, crab and basil croquetas and of course – Jamón Ibérico de bellota. My personal favourites were the grilled aspapagus and manchego, lamb meatballs, Iberico jamon, and gazpacho, but everything I tasted was fantastic.
Pizarro says, “With this little place I want to explore new ingredients, use more fresh produce as well as bring diners some old favourites. I’m so excited”.
All in all, this place totally hits the mark. The food was to die for, the atmosphere was spot on, the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming and of course, José just rocks! Highly recommended, my only wish is that it was closer to home!
José: 104 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UB T: 020 7403 4902 (no reservations) www.josepizarro.com