I caught up with Roberto Della Pietra, Head Sommellier of Tirage, a new all-day dining venture in Bishopsgate, on the eve of its opening.
Tirage comes to us from Venezuelan businessman-turned-restaurateur Elio Machillanda and his wife Claudia, with Michelin-starred restaurateur David Moore (Pied à Terre, L’Autre Pied and, more recently, Pieds Nus) in an advisory role.
So two Venezuelans, an Italian and an Englishman open a Champagne bar. It sounds like the beginning of a joke.
A joke? Yes, you mean the Englishman! Seriously now, Tirage is a project that Claudia and Elio dreamed about for many years. They always loved Champagne, and when they found this location they thought that this was it. They wanted to create a restaurant where people can enjoy an array of styles by the glass matching it with a gastronomic and innovative cuisine without breaking the bank. And I'd like to clarify first that even though we carry a bar licence we actually are a restaurant specialising in Champagne and bubbly.
What can you drink if you are one of those rare (and strange) people who don’t like Champagne?
We do have a small selection of still white and red wines available by the glass.
So I’ve just won the lottery. What’s the best bottle of bubbly that you stock?
You won the lottery? Salon Le Mesnil 1985 (£1,600). Then I'll take you to a few good clubs in the West End and help you to splash out!
What do you have for those of us on tighter budgets?
I also list beautiful sparkling wines from around the world, including Prosecco, Cremant de Bourgogne, and Cava, and options from the New World. The rule was simple, if they are great the make the list.
And finally, is Tirage a good place to take a date? Or given its City location, is it more about power lunching and networking?
You really wanna bring your date to a place with a charming and swanky sommelier like myself? Joke aside, Tirage is a beautifully designed and decorated restaurant perfect for romantic dining, especially for dinner.
Thank you for you time Roberto. I can’t wait to try a glass or two of your bubbly stuff.