address: 9 Stockwell Avenue, Brixton, SW9 9SY
Tel: 020 7846 8540
The website description is of a “family run restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine”, which allows latitude in what they serve as there are Italian, Greek, Spanish and recipe mixtures across of cuisines (like taramasalata and padron peppers). Bellefields is part of The Department Store, which provides work and meeting spaces in the heart of Brixton. The onsite restaurant is a new addition that opened this summer. There is a courtyard – more for the hardy as autumn casts its gloom and inside there’s a bar, booths and separate tables. Art is in abundance and eclectic. I am not sure I am very keen on eating while facing a Mexican day of the dead picture, but of course you can arrange to have your back to it. This is a place for coffee, lunch or dinner – we chose the evening when it was pretty empty at 8.00 pm.
The menu is a mixture of snacks (be warned small portions), small plates, mains and dessert. We chose the taramasalata and padron peppers while we considered our drinks (see later). It comes as just what it says on the menu – scooping out the pink cream on a padron pepper is a little tough so we advise ordering some bread (maybe the menu should suggest that).
Next we headed straight to mains and you can choose from an array of pasta or roast something and veg. The pasta can be served as a small plate or large. There is a choice for veggies, but not that much of a choice. There’s also a bunch of specials that looked interesting but we stuck to their standards. We don’t buy meat at home, so I splurged on the most expensive thing on the menu – steak frites and my companion on Spaghetti alla Chitarra Cacio e pepe (this is egg pasta with a square cross section, accompanied by cheese and pepper – very trendy I believe). The “steak frites” is exactly that – a steak with some roast tomatoes and chips (they offer sauces – I had ketchup). I didn’t finish the steak as it wasn’t rested enough so was a little tough. The chips were great.
The pasta was delicious as they had got the creamy sauce and pepper just right; so the plate was left clean. We chose a salad as an accompanyment.
Desserts were thin on the ground and the one we chose to share was off the menu, so we ordered an arancini of rice pudding (sold individually) and a small piece of baklava – just a sweet mouthful each. We enjoyed them both but the rice pudding could have been a bit richer – think tinned ambrosia rich which would have been great.
You are handed the drinks menu first and it has is a long list of cocktails and a list of gin and tonics for every taste. We chose one like a dirty martini (a Spanish Gun with lemon, olive and rosemary) and one described as the Italian riviera (Tuscan gin with lemon and basil), both of course with lots of ice and tonic. There are lots of wines by the bottle and the glass too. We liked the gin – they were drinks to linger over.
Overall we liked the place and the meal, although it turned out to be very expensive. A large portion of the expense was the G&Ts (£24.00). The food came to about £50 including a service charge. We will go again and eat pasta and drink red wine, unless we are celebrating.