Following a recent residency at Carousel — the ever revolving series of guest chef evenings in Marylebone — the owners of Gezellig, a new European wine-focused brand, have confirmed to Eater that they are planning to open a permanent site in September of this year.
The founders — chef Graham Long, and wine professionals James Comyn and Wieteke Teppema — have been joined by experienced restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas, (chef Philip Howard’s partner in Elystan Street and Sonny’s; owner of Home in East Putney) and are currently in negotiations over several sites in Clerkenwell, Farringdon, King’s Cross and Shoreditch.
Gezellig is a Dutch word best translated as an ‘atmosphere, which allows good times to happen,’ with menus reflecting a “broadly European” cooking style, in a wine-focused restaurant delivering “creative comfort food,” with everything from butchery to bread prepared in-house.
Several of the dishes cooked during the residency are likely to feature, including suckling pig sausage rolls and a toastie of aged Comté with green strawberry chutney. Other menu examples include: smoked eel and Lancy Bomber soufflé, crème fraiche and lovage; crispy langoustine lettuce wrap with red onion and peach; hand cut strozzapretti, rabbit and carrot Bolognese; baked Viola aubergine with red pepper, dried olives, pine nuts and ewe’s curd; warm Porthilly oysters; warm Porthilly oysters with cauliflower, Manzanilla sherry, seaweed jelly.
The menu will also feature larger sharing dishes, such as chicken and mushroom pie with creamed potato, and Navarin of lamb served with lamb fat potatoes and spring greens.
Head chef Graham Long brings with him 15 years of experience gained at Michelin-starred restaurants Pied à Terre, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and The Sir Charles Napier, as well as time in Hong Kong at St Bettys. He was also the opening consultant for Phil Howard’s Elystan Street in Chelsea, as well as founding chef’s collective The Dead Rabbits, who have cooked at The Royal Academy and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Wieteke Teppama has worked as sommelier at several venues including The Square, L’Autre Pied, Viajante and The Ledbury. James Comyn was most recently sales director at on-trade Germany and Burgundy specialist Howard Ripley, having also worked on the floor at restaurants including Rockpool in Sydney, The Wine Loft in Auckland, and Pied à Terre. He is also the founder of The Vault Tasting, a collective bi-annual tasting of seven independent wine importers. Both Wieteke and James will be running the front of house team.
Wines offered will include a combination of “off the beaten track” and “icons of the wine world,” with an ethos of “fine wine without the high price tag.”
“Our aim is simply to cook the food we like to eat and pour the wines we like to drink,” Comyn told Eater. “Music and frivolity abound: indulgent feasting and quaffing of fine wines positively encouraged.”