For those wondering, an amethyst is a type of purple quartz whose name, in the original Greek, literally means ‘not drunk’.
And given the amount of fine wine on offer, it seems that you will be unlikely to be amethyst at Amethyst.
It’s the latest restaurant from the immensely talented chef Carlo Scotto. Hailing from Naples, he apprenticed at a Michelin-starred restaurant at the age of 13. He’s since worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens around the world, and it’s his time in countries like Japan and France that informs much of his globe-trotting tasting menu on offer here.
Amethyst follows from his first solo restaurant Xier, which earned rave reviews but shuttered after the pandemic. Here, he’s still serving fine dining, with the kind of impeccable service you’d expect from the area – but in a space that feels distinctly un-Mayfair.
We walked past it three times before clocking it.
Amethyst sits in a small, inconspicuous space on Sackville Street, just off Piccadilly. The windows, clouded over with white paint, offer no clues as to what’s inside. So it’s a pretty spectacular sight that greets you when you walk in: a 10-metre long, jagged chef’s table shot through with rivers of real amethyst & quartz stone.
That unusual shape’s not just for show, either: this is a chef’s table that allows groups and couples to dine together on separate peninsulas, while still feeling part of a communal experience. And of course, every seat has a direct view of chef Carlo and his team working their quiet, composed magic in the kitchen at the back.
This is one of the most zen open kitchens we’ve ever seen. There’s no shouts of ‘yes, chef’, no pans clattering or hiss of sizzling fat. Like a well oiled machine, the chefs pass components of each dish to Carlo at the front; he assembles them with the precision of a surgeon; and pairs of servers deliver them to your table with perfect synchronicity.
The tasting menus here are available in 3 or 5 courses for lunch, and 6 or 12 for dinner, and feel like an opportunity for Scotto to explore the wealth of flavours and techniques he’s gathered on his travels. Things kick off with a trio of snacks; oysters splashed with tomato-fermented sake; Moroccan pastry brushed with spiced honey; an unbelievably light and crispy croquette that will change the way you feel about liquorice.
What follows is a parade of creativity; from Peruvian-styled scallops with caviar and leche de tigre, to foie gras served alongside rose-infused salmon. There’s black cod, left to marinate in caramel miso for 36 hours to create a sweet, smoked hay-dusted wedge that surpasses the original at Nobu. We could go on — an aubergine-filled take on Japanese gyoza, floating in a tea and sake broth; beautifully pink Ras el hanout beef with a sesame-studded Medjool date; and a palette cleanser that’s essentially a bowl of frozen daquiri, flush with one of the most intense strawberry flavours we’ve ever tasted.
Then there’s the wine. Plump for the pairing, and sommelier Filippo Carnevale (moving with Carlo from Xier) will supply you with some spectacular wines from around the globe to complement each dish – a delicate pinot gris from Alsace that almost replicates the scallop dish in liquid form; a just-funky-enough skin contact wine to match the gyoza; a young but balsamic-heavy barolo for the beef. But of course, this is Mayfair, and downstairs — alongside a couple more tables for two — is a well-stocked wine cellar, with many available by the glass using Coravin.
There’s spirits, too, and Champagne…
…but ironically, no Cristal.
NOTE: Amethyst is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday. You can find out more, and book, at the website right HERE.
Amethyst | 6 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DD
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