A taste of Burgundy at Pissarro

Restaurant confirms its pedigree for fines wines & gourmet dining


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With a reputation for fine wines and excellent food, an invitation to a Pissarro’s wine tasting evening was not something to be missed. And so it was with great anticipation that my husband and I set off on a freezing November evening down to Corney Reach.

A stone’s throw from Chiswick Pier, Pissarro’s occupies a unique and enviable position on the banks of the River Thames. Located in the heart of Thackeray’s Chiswick, Pissarro’s is just moments away from the bustle of the High Road and has earned justifiable repute amongst discerning diners.

This evening marked the first of a series of wine tasting and dining evenings which will feature wines of high quality tutored by an expert in that particular field.

This night was the turn of fine wine expert, Michael Morgan (who supplies some of Pissarro’s wines) to present six wines - three white and three red - from the Cote d'Or, Burgundy.

Selected from two family run estates, Michael Morgan spoke eloquently about not just vintages and grapes, but also about the area, the vineyards and the families that make the wine.

The wines that had been selected for tasting were, on the white table, a 2003 Pouilly Fuisse, Domaine Burrier, 2003 Chassagne Montrachet, Domaine Fontaine Gagnard and a 2002 Chassagne Montrachet 1er cru Boudriottes Domaine Fontaine Gagnard. The reds were a 2003 Bourgogne Pinot Fin, Domaine Arnoux, 2001 Vosnee Romanee 1er cru Les Chaumes, Domaine Arnoux and a 2002 Vosnee Romanee 1er cru Les Chaumes, Domaine Arnoux.

Each guest was invited to taste the wines and make notes. I was, thankfully, aided by Pissarro’s Assistant Manager, Johnathan Woollard who, still in his twenties, has a formidable knowledge of wines from around the world which he imparts with intelligibility and enthusiasm in equal measures. Woollard is as charming as he is conversant and take delight in acting as an obliging guide for less confident wine buffs.

After the tasting sessions, guests were treated to a magnificent four course meal starting with an excellent bouillabaisse with scallops, squid, mussels and crab, followed by a grilled herring with fennel and citrus salad. The main course was a delicious melt in the mouth experience of roast loin of venison wrapped in Teruel ham with celeriac and potato dauphinoise and quince jus.

For desert a choice of baked pear with almond ice cream or chestnut white and dark chocolate parfait with sherry dressing or Pissarro’s renowned cheese board was offered. I opted for the excellent cheese board but managed to pinch tastes of the other two dishes both of which were alike in their merit.

The menu had been planned around the two wines served with the food which were 2001 Chassagne Montrachet, Domaine E Sauzet and 2000 Chambolle Musigny, Domaine Arnoux, again from the same two vineyards as before.

This was a truly enjoyable learning experience which afforded those, like me, who enjoy their wine to decipher ‘wine speak’ and to realise that far from being an ignoramus, there is no right or wrong in the wine world – it’s all a matter of taste. I, for one, cannot wait until the next event.

Since Pissarro opened almost a decade ago, it has remained in the ownership of a team of local entrepreneurs who highly value their local community and who are incredibly proud of their restaurant’s well earned reputation.  Staunch supporters of local charities and local sporting events, Pissarro also generously sponsor their local primary school, Cavendish, and are passionate benefactors of Richmond Rugby Club.

Pissarro is open all day with lunch served from 12:00pm to 3:30pm (4:00pm on Sundays) and supper from 7:00pm to 10.30 (9:30pm on Sundays). Booking is advisable on 020 8994 3111.

Check out the Pissarro website for future events.


Emma Brophy

December 2, 2005