This February, Alice Staple and Dickie Bielenberg, will open ‘Maremma’, their debut neighbourhood Tuscan restaurant on Brixton Water Lane. Long-standing private chef Alice will be cooking her simple and regional dishes from her travels, taking inspiration from Maremma’s unspoilt coastal region in southern Tuscany famed for its salumi, seafood, olive groves and vineyards.
Alice’s life-long love of Italian cooking has helped to craft a menu championing the area’s produce alongside the restaurant’s head chef Dominique Goltinger. In true Italian style, the menu is divided into four sections; Antipasti, Primi, Secondi & Dolci, and alongside the Tuscan classics, La bistecca alla Fiorentina and Wild boar prosciutto, visitors can take their pick from Tortelli Maremmani, spinach and ricotta tortelli and Acquacotta, a traditional Tuscan soup meaning ‘cooked water’ served with a poached hen’s egg. For those after a lighter snack, guests can also dine from the Spuntini menu and choose from focaccia, leccino olives or seasonal arancini, which will also be available with a classic Italian cocktail Wednesday to Saturday to toast aperitivo hour, from 5.30pm.
Maremma’s concise wine menu has been cherry picked by both Alice and Dickie, a Brixton resident for almost fifty years, who split their time between south London and his home in Campiglia Marittima, in the Maremma. Whilst in Italy, they have sourced the best Tuscan bottles from small producers, all of which will be available for the first time in the UK. The region’s mountainous and coastal terroirs are perfect for wine growing, with wines from Bolgheri, Val di Cornia and the Island of Elba in particular showcasing the best of what the Maremma has to offer.
Founder Dickie says “I’ve always dreamed about bringing a bit of the Maremma to Brixton. After countless visits, Alice and I have a shared love for this region, and were won over by its fine produce, fine wine and charm. We have been lucky to have met some wonderful people there, some of which are now going to be our suppliers.” “We’ve sourced the very best produce and lesser known wines, and I can’t wait to showcase these in our little slice of the Maremma in Brixton,” adds Alice.
Housed in the former Montego Inn, located on the corner of Brixton Water Lane, windows wrap the building along both streets to give a light, airy space. Guests can choose to sit at the quartz-topped bar, by the lower pasta section to watch the chefs in action or banquettes with oak tables, a wood native to the Maremma region. The interior incorporates the colours of Maremma – the green hills full of cypress, pine and poplar trees, the silvery-sage olive groves, the terracotta Etruscan hilltop towns and the blue Tyrrhenian sea. The team will also be restoring the original signage on the doorway to the downstairs, leading to the wine cellar and private dining room, in homage to the building’s former incarnation.