Organic wine bar and restaurant Enoteca Pomaio is somewhat of an anomaly among the curry houses and graffiti walls on Brick Lane. But in fact, it’s exactly what the area needed: a real piece of Italian culture, run by people who care in their heart, soul and bones about the produce they offer…
Enoteca Pomaio is run by Lacopo e Marco Rossi, two brothers, foodies and wine-makers from Tuscany. Their close friend and sommelier Luca was behind the bar when we arrived, and gave us the warmest of welcomes as he ushered us to a romantic table at the back of the restaurant. The place is named after the duo’s eco-friendly vineyard in the Tuscan hills of Arezzo, and Luca tells us they decided to set up shop in London to showcase the wines and the food they’re so passionate about.
The restaurant is rustic in look and feel, with white stripped walls and simple wooden furniture. Though the menu itself is short and concise, think craft charcuterie and cheese, well-priced fancy sandwiches and seasonal plates - the dishes are oozing with so much flavour you’ll feel like you’re dining alfresco in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
We gladly accepted sommelier Luca’s recommendations and ordered a selection of cheese and charcuterie, bruschetta, some Italian olives and two large glasses of red. Our expectations were high, but the wine certainly delivered. It arrived in those big wine glasses that make you feel like you have really dainty, small hands, and was velvety smooth and deliciously rich.
A few glugs later and Luca returned with our food and the most heavenly, garlic and basic infused aromas. After a quick smug exchange, we tucked into the platter of cheese and meats.
One of the greatest gastronomic pleasures of a visit to Italy is its superb charcuterie, and you can tell the meat they serve here as authentic as it gets. But we were more impressed with the cheese; in fact, I can honestly say I’ve never tried cheese so flavour-packed, it really does take you by surprise. Oh - and not forgetting the crisp bruschetta: an eruption of garlicky tomato juice with salty olives and delicious olive oil.
We finished our meal with homemade cheesecake on a crumbly biscuit base, which was surprisingly light as cheesecakes go but just as moreish. It was bursting with a fresh fruity flavour and the perfect way to end a meal. Paradiso! If you like Italian food and wine, (and who doesn’t), it’s certainly worth the visit - even from the other side of London.
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