This Putney stalwart is celebrating 25 years in business. To last this long in the ever more transient London as a family-owned independent eatery is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. Some would just buy flowers and a card. However, Puglia-born owner Giuseppe Turi had bigger things in mind, bringing on new head chef, Michele Blasi, who made waves on the continent as head chef at Sadler’s in Milan and helping it achieve a Two Michelin star rating.
With a new chef comes an anniversary menu with modern Italian dishes that showcase the traditions of their regional origins, including star plates from Puglia, Tuscany, Campania and Sicily. It is warm Italian soul food and not a pizza in sight.
As you enter the high street after Putney Bridge, saturated with glossy chains and drab buffet joints, you would be forgiven for strolling right past Turi’s unassuming exterior. However enter through its grand curtains to find a much more upmarket affair. Come on a weekend and the place is buzzing.
From the antipasti, the uber-tender seared scallops sat above perfectly cooked chick pea puree cut through with a sharp ginger, garlic and chilli dressing. As expected, the pasta dishes are outstanding. In particular the wide tagliatelle was perfectly cooked; an al dente throne for a duck ragout that was more meaty than saucy, the unctuous meat riffing with the richness of red wine and thyme perfectly. For an in-season special, the roast grouse main with Scottish girolle mushrooms, barley and liver risotto was rich and hearty.
The wine list is of encyclopaedic proportions, mapping out and award winning wine cellar that covers everything from lucrative vintages to cherry-picked boutique finds. Featuring extensive taste notes on over 350 bottles, it’s a dream for any self identifying oenophile. For the “anything but Chardonnay” types, there are recommended wines expertly chosen for each dish that are available by the glass.
The price can get lofty when going for all courses and splashing out on a vintage to impress your continental date. Luckily the portions are generous enough that you can easily keep things the right side of flashy by sticking to the house pairings.
Enoteca Turi is a local hero undoubtedly deserved of its quarter century of success as an under the radar gem nestled in London’s suburbia. It’s knowledgeable and passionate cooking could hold its own against the big names of Italian food in central London. Luckily it is just far enough out that it avoids the hype and inflated price tags that a postcode north of the river would lead to.
Family dinners and foodies fighting off their Italian holiday withdrawal symptoms.