The absolute first thing to mention about Amethyst, a new restaurant in Mayfair, is the dining table. Yes we do mean dining table singular, as all the guests are sat around a stunning centrepiece of a thing, a zig-zagging slab of quartz and amethyst that is definitely one of the most unique and interesting set-ups we’ve seen in a restaurant. Those with a phobia of communal dining need not fear however – the angles and edges of the table ensure that each diner gets their own space free from any interference with your neighbours.
The second thing to note is that Amethyst is the new restaurant from Italian chef Carlo Scotto, who earned rave reviews at his previous restaurant Xier, which closed during the pandemic. Carlo can be seen in the (very) open kitchen at the far end of Amethyst’s dining room, plating up dishes on a marble counter that’s a bit like a performance space. Due to that spectacular dining table again, everyone has a great view of the action.
In the evenings there’s a six or twelve course tasting menu on offer (shorter menus are available at lunch) and despite Carlo’s Italian heritage, it’s by no means an homage to his home country. The menu takes in a whole range of global influences from the chef’s travels around the world, so you’ll be taken on quite the spin in terms of styles and flavours.
We went in for the full 12 courses, which begins with a little trio of snacks including a golden crisp croquette with liquorice, tarragon & parmesan. Pair this with a glass of Nyetimber sparkling wine for the win. Other early highlights included finely diced scallops served almost ceviche-style with caviar, galangal & matsutake, and a foie gras cream with a beautiful slice of red rose petal cured salmon, yuzu & Piedmont hazelnuts.
The final two dishes were excellent and worthy of a special mention. Firstly, a ‘burnt hay black cod’, a fillet of gleaming white fish that had been coated in caramelised miso and spices to make it entirely black on the outside. It came with a lovely naganegi dashi and was one of the standouts of the night. Then came perfectly-cooked beef enlivened by a coating of ras el hanout and, accompanied by Medjool dates and nasturtium.
Wines, courtesy of sommelier Filippo Carnevale, were excellent and there are several pairing options as well as an extensive selection of bottles. Make sure you check out the bottles on display in the wine cellar, a downstairs room that can also be used for private dining.
Amethyst shows that there’s plenty of life in fine-dining yet, especially with such a creative chef as Carlo Scotto at the helm. This is one to save for your next special occasion dinner.
6 Sackville Street, London, W1S 3DD