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Wine List Confidential: Geode Restaurant and Bar

Douglas Blyde cracks into new Mayfair opening Geode. Will the “globe-trotting” wine list prove to be a hidden gem, or fool’s gold?

Mayfair Musings praised the “exciting new 7,000 sq. ft dining hot spot” that is Knightsbridge’s Geode, “set across three floors of a Georgian townhouse”, while Oracle Time described it as “just like the rock it’s named after … about hidden treasures and gorgeous design … with a terracotta and lavender theme showcasing the earth and gemstones.”


Beyond a flower festooned façade, interiors are intended to “challenge the stereotypical art deco style that dominates London’s hospitality” according to designer, Studio Sagrada (Arts Club, Sartoria). Facing the DJ decks, the Gaudi-esque bar counter embellished with multicoloured stones may be glimpsed through a geode-like aperture into the glazed courtyard. Here, from mottled, mirrored tables, diners observe the feature rotisserie, pizza oven, and robata grill, and potentially, disrobing residents who reside in the terraces above. The first-floor dining room brims with a wall of wine and a grappa display. Continue up to the forthcoming members’ cigar lounge, Attica, and the distressed plasterwork and exposed, dusty pink-painted RSJs of the restaurant and bar are left behind in favour of flocculent, curvaceous figures under a gently vaulted, beaten copper ceiling.

Intended to capture the feel and food from the “Amalfi Coast to the vibrant cities of Asia”, the project is led by Salvatore Broccu and Marios Louvaris of Arrow Hospitality which also comprises Kutir in Chelsea and Mayfair’s Manthan.


The wine list was initially built by Edoardo Lucaroni (formerly of Oblix and Claridge’s). This is now overseen by Massimiliano Sali, who will be a familiar face to patrons of Locanda Locatelli, Tinello, and the restaurants of Good Food Society, including Ristorante Frescobaldi and Hovarda.
Wines by the glass open at £9.50 per 175ml for the organic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo from Amoterra (“love the land”) ranging to £35 for 100ml of 40-year-old Taylor’s Tawny, via Umbero Cesari’s gutsy Sangiovese rosé (£16).

By the bottle, rosé sparklers give a clue as to the anticipated, hedonistic, Knightsbridge clientele, including Cristal 2014 at £1,150, with Armand de Brignac’s Ace of Spades non-vintage rolling in at a mere £850 – both at double retail price. At the lower end, other fizzes include the Corpinnat, Recaredo Corpinnat Terrers Brut Nature 2019, kindly subject to a mere £10 mark-up (£53), while two expressions of warm vintage (2018) Hundred Hills from Oxfordshire (£87-97) are drawn from a section entitled “Champenoise” – a term which could see the Comité Champagne getting hot under the collar.

Other relatively equitably priced, interesting still finds include Lugana Bianco with bottle age (2018) from Demesse Vecchie, Famiglia Olivini (£53), Volubilia Domaine de la Zouina Epicuria Syrah 2019 from Bordeaux winemakers who invested in the Morocco (£72), and, also from 2019, Emma Gao’s Silver Heights Chardonnay Reserve from China’s Ningxia (£93).

Still bottles at the pinnacle are subject to three times mark-up, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2004 Romanée St. Vivant 2004 (£11,163) drawn from a section called “Beaujolais & Burgogne” [sic], followed by Lafite 2009 (£2,576), Masseto 2004 (£3,019), and Alvaro Palacios’ 2017 L’Eremita Priorat (£2,505). Big bottles include what must be a hugely rare magnum of orange Radikon 1990 at £643, while the imperial of Opus One 2013 will set you back £18,000, which amounts to about the same cost it would cost for two to fly first class, London to San Francisco, take a tour of Opus One, grab dinner at The French Laundry, sleep off the excesses at Meadowood, then come home.

Misspellings occur in unexpected places, such as the 2013 Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Alzato Riserva from Villa “Crime” rather than Crine, which also seems incorrectly priced at £822, equating to around ten times mark-up.

In addition, a small compliment of sakes including Dewatsuru’s Habataki Junmai, is supplied by More Sake, a firm founded by Novikov alumni, including Rudolph Galand and Nicolas Gael Verhoye.


Given Novikov features in the backstory of Geode’s founders, a fusion of dishes are created by executive chef, Francesco Scala who previously worked in the Mayfair branch, as well as Yuka Aoyama (Nobu). Pairings today were enacted by gentle giant, Sali, whose hobbies include water polo and meditation.

Following Ruinart rosé Champagne, dejectedly served in girdling Luigi Bormioli flutes rather than better, broader instruments, Sali, whose philosophy when it comes to pairing is “drink and eat what you love”, selected just one white to encircle four very different starters. From Alto Adige’s splendid Cantina Terlan, Winkl Sauvignon Blanc 2022 evoked peach skin, navigating adroitly alongside satisfyingly crispy maki of tuna and tenkasu, a richly dressed, jalapeño dotted hamachi “Carpaccio”, holiday-grade octopus gallega with black olives, paprika, and plump potato slices, and the much Instagrammed Scottish beef tartare laden over a thin bridge of pane carasau, itself rested over mouth-lush roasted bone marrow.

Next, with a thick tranche of steamed stone bass simply served with soy and ginger, the Carmignano-born Sali chose an off-list wine, being the “unclassified” Rosso Veronese, L’Arco Rosso del Veronese 2020. A blend principally of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, as well as Sangioveto and Teroldego, when lightly chilled, the pretty, lithesome wine belied its 14.5%. It was the work of the “former winemaker of Quintarelli”, shared Sali. Welsh venison, care of the robata, with a rich red wine pepped gravy, met a Malbec “from its home”, Cahors, being the fully ripe, Tannat-tempered, Le Cedre, Château Du Cédre 2019.

Finally, with a standout buckwheat millefeuille, concealing waves of vanilla cream and hauntingly fragrant Amarena cherries, Sali showed Hans Tschida’s late harvest 2021 Chardonnay, Sämling, and Sauvignon Blanc from Burgenland, providing the superior match of the meal, heightened by, finally, a decent glass designed by Nude.

Last word

Having taken particular care with service temperature, Sali had primarily shown wines which he personally enjoys, a factor which enhanced today’s lunch. Geode, with its brilliantly disobedient décor, especially so up at Attica, an often accessible wine, globe-trotting list, and contrasting, appealing Italo-Asian dishes, is built to please.

Best for

  • Encompassing worldly wines
  • Charming interior with decent acoustics
  • Cocktails, including “Sea Peridot” (samphire gin, Chartreuse, and Suze)

Value: 93, Size: 92, Range: 93, Originality: 93, Experience: 96; Total: 93.4

Geode Restaurant and Bar – 4-15 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NQ; 020 3794 7708;

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