Michael Franke / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Fri Sep 17 2010
Dehesa is in an area so artificially funky that you fear for its soul. No need. Once you’ve elbowed your way through the Ganton Street crowds, you’ll find a venue that’s stylish and pleasant but fully focused on the plate and in the glass.
The back of the menu is a paean to the pig, in Spanish and Italian derivations, offering hams on and off the bone, including an entry-level, acorn-fed jamón ibérico. There are a few cheeses, too, mixing the expected (manchego) with the wider-ranging (torta de barros).
But we found most pleasure in the tapas menu, which pushes genre expectations with such dishes as prettily presented saffron-cured sea trout with spiced aubergine, quails’ eggs and beetroot dressing; and squid with grilled chorizo salad, pickled red onions and guindilla chillies. On the simpler side, a classic tortilla was just the right mix of textures.
The wine list is pricey, with only a couple of bottles under £20. But we’re arguing range not value: our Mallorcan Macia rosé was knowledgeably selected and worth its £28. The comfortable, brown-hued room is dominated by a couple of long tables that you’ll be asked to share – and vacate after two hours, at busy times. Capable, friendly staff generate a congenial enough atmosphere for this not to feel a chore. Alternatively, in good weather you can escape to the pleasant pavement tables.
Salt Yard, arranged over two compact floors in Fitzrovia, is Dehesa’s older sister, offering a similar selection of well-considered Spanish/Italian food and wine. It’s popular with a sophisticated office crowd.
Dehesa 25 Ganton Street