Six by Nico in Fitzrovia: Rediscover your inner child with unpretentious yet indulgent dining
The enjoyment of a dish is more than its savoury components: it’s a sensory experience that goes beyond the palate and involves our more intimate memories and emotions. Nico Simeone delves deep into these nostalgic associations, taking us back to childhood with his latest foodie creations.
Having launched ventures all across the UK, the Scottish-Italian chef was missing an opening in London; in 2020 he finally checked it off his list. Simeone’s brand-new place in Fitzrovia guarantees the playful and unpretentious concept that the name suggests: a tasting menu of six courses (plus snacks as an extra and a vegetarian alternative), each available for six weeks only before a different theme with new dishes comes in to take its place.
Some outdoor tables can still be spotted at the beginning of September, but it’s the comfy indoor seating which provides the most relaxed setting for this dining experience – Covid-safe, with social distancing measures in place and the staff equipped with masks. The counter of the open kitchen, which stretches for almost all the entire length of the restaurant, is the stage for a lot of action (yes, plenty of Instagram opportunities here) and blends in with the home decor of the whole interior.
The current gourmet list is called Cooking Childhood and guides the diner through a journey back to the most typical homemade dishes – revisited through modern experimental twists, obviously. The matching wine option costs as much as the actual food, perfectly in line with the restaurant’s informal and affordable offer. And pretty soon, it justifies doubling the modest bill.
The first course is a tender bite of ox cheek ragu placed on an airy splash of parmesan espuma. Most likely the most abstract re-interpretation of the night, Fish Fingers counteract the preceding hot dish with a cool and subtly spicy kick. This salmon tartare is delightfully paired with a fruity rosé from the Languedoc, Le Rose of Terre Des Dames.
The fused yolk of the Egg & Soldiers is intense, chaperoned by a thick celeriac soldier, everything sitting at the centre of a creamy lovage emulsion. The accompanying glass comes from South Africa, a dry Strange Kompanjie of The Tea Leaf. Playing once again with the trick of deconstructing the recipe and remixing the ingredients on the plate, for the Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese Simeone pleasantly surprises with a tasty dish which leaves none of the usual stickiness or heaviness on the tongue. Another South African wine is the zesty pick for this round, The Underworld Grenache Blanc. Starring an XO duck breast that sweetly melts in the mouth, Duck Duck Goose stands as the pinnacle of the menu. A vibrant red from Burgundy, Les Pivoines of Beaujolais Village, complements with panache.
The presentation becomes more and more elaborate with every course. The final plate is preceded by an extra act to ramp up the atmosphere. Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses is a fine end. The delicate savarin crème is characterised by a velvety texture to go along with the frozen raspberry mixture in the middle. The Araldica Brachetto d’Acqui, which looks and goes down like a juice, could not be a more delicious pairing.
Concise yet luscious, the menu at Six by Nico sets a different bar for the tasting journey. In this pretension-free environment, every exquisitely executed dish offers an indulgent and evocative journey for the senses.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Matthew Pull
To book a table at Six by Nico, 41 Charlotte Street Fitzrovia London W1T 1RR, call 020 7580 8143 or visit their website here.