Ever since it opened in Buenos Aires back in 2001, Sucre has wandered in and out of the World’s 50 Best Latin American list, pocketing dozens of other accolades along the way.
And at last, it’s wandered in our direction.
Now, two of the biggest big dogs of Argentina’s drinking & dining scene – chef Fernando Trocca & cocktail man Renato “Tato” Giovannoni – have taken over the the 310-year old building that was the London College of Music in Soho, which was already a huge and remarkably beautiful space to begin with. Probably something to do with acoustics. But either way, that lily has then been further gilded with chandeliers made from over a thousand cut glass decanters, and elegant leather seating backed by mismatched Latin American textile patterns. It’s what other date spots dream about.
To avoid the show runners stepping on each-other’s toes, it’s all been divided up into two distinct areas – a restaurant up top (Sucre) and a cocktail joint down below (Abajo) each with its own entrance & menu. So let’s start, as you likely will, with the restaurant. It’s all been essentially built around the kitchen, which has both a dramatic open fire pit, and a wood fired oven, all of which which sits at one end of the main dining area, as if overseeing everything.
Freshly scorched over that charcoal fire pit, you can expect hearty monkfish tails draped in XO sauce and black beans, or juicy Iberico pork matambre (it’s like a stuffed steak); while out of the wood oven there’s tender lamb shoulder with romaine lettuce & preserved lemon, and a fragrant black fideuà (an Argentinean rice dish) with squid and paprika. Going alongside all of this, there’s everything from scallops with jalapeño, to roasted hispi cabbage & blue cheese, to fish stew with black garlic.
Then there’s the cocktail bar below it all. Originally, back when Sucre first opened, this was a darkly moody, cool little cave called Abajo. It was dressed that way to mirror Tato Giovanonni’s other bar, with is currently ranked No.7 on the World’s 50 Best list. Unfortunately, what worked so well in Argentina didn’t quite hit here, so they’re currently re-shaping the place to be a lot lighter, fancier, and a basically more decadent – which is very much in keeping with the restaurant upstairs.
When it opens, you’ll be able to get an all-new cocktail list from Nightjar’s Tony Pescatori, with the likes of the Asian-style Clay (whisky, baijiu, green Szechuan, umeboshi, preserved plum) and the Kunama, which blends a flavourful agricole rum with Ethiopia Women’s Bulessa Cold Brew Coffee and some Ethiopian Korekima spice. And of course there’ll be food too, which – like the decor – will take its lead from the restaurant above. We’re talking empanadas, tostadas, and little sandwiches of pork belly & spiced pineapple.
Sounds like the menu change will be quite fruitful.
NOTE: Sucre is open daily for lunch and dinner; Abajo is open Tues-Sat, 5pm-1am. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right HERE, or HERE for Abajo.
Sucre | 47 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP
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