London is blessed with many Italian restaurants, meaning we’re pretty familiar with food from different regions of the country. Take Tuscany for example – we know Tuscany, we’ve definitely had Tuscan food and wine before, and we can almost certainly locate it on a map. The Maremma though, that’s an area we don’t know, and that’s what Maremma (the restaurant) is trying to put right.
Housed in the former Montego Inn in Brixton, Maremma is all about showcasing produce, particularly game and seafood, and wine from this specific part of Tuscany (it’s the southwestern portion by the coast FYI). Much of the wine list hasn’t been seen in the UK before so you really are getting something new.
The menu is tight, with only a handful of antipasti, primi and secondi – less time spent deciding and more time spent eating. We began with buffalo mozzarella and marinated raw courgettes punched up with an anchovy dressing and a starter size portion of excellent prawn tagliatelle. We went large for the signature tortelli Maremmani, fat parcels stuffed spinach and ricotta, and swimming in sage butter. The quality of fresh pasta dishes in the city has never been better and these two are right up there.
After two carb-heavy plates we split one secondi, the whole grilled bass with peperonata, aioli and a huge side dish of runner beans in garlic oil, and one pud, super smooth chocolate gelato with marsala cherries. It’s Italian food as it should be; two or three components per plate, simply and confidently cooked.
Maremma is a great neighbourhood spot; it’s a buzzy restaurant to be in, especially if you can nab a seat at the counter in front of the kitchen, and you’ll leave very well fed and watered.
36 Brixton Water Lane, London, SW2 1PE
Photo credit: Jade Nina Sarkhel