address: 36 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE
Closed Monday and Tuesday and only open at lunchtime on Sunday – see website for details
Maremma is a place to go for a celebration as it is not cheap. We had a COVID-filled family Christmas, so when we emerged from quarantine we felt we deserved a celebration. Also, we knew it was the end of the Christmas period because we finished off the last pieces of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange. We have reviewed Maremma before (see here, here and HERE) but just as a reminder, it is all about Tuscan food. The short very Italian menu includes antipasti, primi, secondi and contourni (vegetables) and then cheese and desserts. The menu changes regularly and there are also specials – luckily we were with friends, so able to roam the menu. Spoiler alert – we enjoyed everything and ignored vegan January.
For starters we ordered spaghetti, venison carpaccio (a special), pigeon salad, and wild sea bass carpaccio. The spaghetti was no ordinary spaghetti but spaghetti alla chitarra, garlic, bottarga (literally guitar spaghetti with dried mullet). The egg pasta is square shaped and thicker than spaghetti that comes dried or in tins. The two carpaccios came with a little rocket for a small dose of pepper and the venison also had a dollop of very tasty sauce (unknown as it was a special). The pigeon salad came with radicchio, pomegranate, hazelnuts and looked substantial as did the spaghetti. But it was empty plates all round and our photos show that we were very keen to get stuck in.
For the main course we had a blowout with – Cacciucco maremmano (Tuscan fish stew with cuttlefish, prawns, mussels & grey mullet), a couple of portions of the rabbit (braised rabbit leg, taggiasche olives, and lardo) and finally pasta with a wild boar ragout. The rabbit looked a bit lonely so we ordered crispy potatoes and aioli. Everything was scrumptious and again there were empty plates. No one (and we are a picky bunch) had any complaints and the rabbit scored the most compliments.
We couldn’t decide whether to have dessert – we were pretty full so it was two espressos, an affogato and a portion of blood orange ice cream – sorry gelato – with a shortbread biscuit and plenty of spoons. The ice cream was smooth but the blood orange could have had a bit more flavour – it tends to be lost in cold food so it needs bumping up a bit. Coffee was of course jolting but we did order a bottle of reasonably-priced red wine (they have unreasonable ones!).
We enjoyed the company, the ambiance – we sat near the door but it wasn’t cold. It did get a bit loud towards the end of the evening but that depends on your neighbours, and one group was clearly having a great time. We enjoyed everything put in front of us and our companions are not easy to please. They are opening another branch in Clapham, so this one might be easier to book. The bill for four came to £236 (£59 per head) which included the “reasonably priced” red wine at £48. This was a treat and we were very full when we left. On Thursday and Friday they have lunch for £15 including wine, so perhaps that is the entry to this restaurant.