Le Querce - top secret foodie haunt

Le Querce - the local restaurant that's so understated, it's practically a speakeasy - has been listed in The Times today as one of the top 20 secret foodie restaurants. They say:

Some of the finest Italian food in the UK is to be found in a slightly outwardly shabby high-street restaurant on Brockley Rise in southeast London. The view of the MOT centre opposite might not be the best but the atmosphere is buzzy, warm and friendly. The pasta is home-made by the chef and owner, Antonello Serra, who has cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Sardinia and Bayswater in West London. 

The menu is divided in the traditional Italian way — antipasti, pasta, primi, secondi, dessert. The pizzas are thin, crispy and with basic toppings — “speck and rocket”, blue cheese or simply salami; the secondi courses are similarly simple — lamb cutlets on a vegetable bed, for example, or the pasta: Bufala ricotta ravioli with butter and sage. The pudding is home-made ice cream in exciting flavours — chilli chocolate, or banana with cardamom and ginger. This place really is a diamond in the rough.

With thanks to Nuno.

32 comments:

CB said...

"the rough" ?!

Crepi said...

Have my previous comments been subject to censorship-up on the web for 3 mins only? my thoughts were polite, but an honest reflection of my experiences at le Querce from somebody who loves Brockley having spent 25 years here.... Is that how this site works? Anything that is not favourable is deleted? This is very concerning-how depressing and what is the context please?

Brockley Nick said...

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Crepi said...

I logged a comment about 12 mins ago which was acknowledged, appeared on the site as a second comment and then vanished into the ether, hence my post.

Brockley Nick said...

Nope. Nothing in the spam filters or deleted comments box.

Crepi said...

To recap: the most calamitous evening I have ever spent in a restaurant was at le Querce in Blackheath prior to the annual fireworks display. An absurdly pompous and patronising manager fronted a disfunctional kitchen leading to a revolution by guests who wanted to leave and pay but in the end were directed to leave-"this is not fast food' was the 90 minute late refrain for a starter'. The restaurant closed having limped on for a couple of months ( a pity since the rest of the staff were charming). The same manager patronised our first Brockley exhibiting the same dreary tendencies as we were served mediocre fare in a restaurant we were well disposed to like in advance of our visit. It is simply not enough to be Italian or Sardinian to be able to comment on the merits of good food. A great pity so future diners... in bocca al lupo....

Yoz said...

This article is not talking about Le Querce in Blackheath. Le Querce in Blackheath does not exist anymore

Yoz said...

This article is not talking about Le Querce in Blackheath. Le Querce in Blackheath does not exist anymore.

Yoz said...

Whoops, sorry, jumped in a bit quick there, DELETE DELETE

Mezzer said...

I disagree - Crepi's post sounds completely objective and in my experience, is pretty accurate.

Tim said...

I've always really enjoyed Le Querce. Fabulous Italian food from a friendly team, in my experience.
I've always been a bit freaked out by the remarkable ability of the waiter to memorise the order of the whole table without writing it down, but that's hardly a criticism.


I recommend the restaurant to all for a well priced meal that remind you of that gorgeous little place you went to on holiday in Italy...

Fezzie said...

Yes, I agree with Crepi. I visited twice, first time left after having just sat down at table, waiter barked at us for coming in with a bottle of water and putting it on the table momentarily, it was about 30 degrees as I recall. Gave it another go, second time received somewhat similar curt treatment when looking for table. Heard good reports from others in fairness, particularly about the food, but that was my experience.

Crepi said...

Thanks Michael Winner but fair point re the Times.


However, just because a national gives us some attention should not get us all thinking that the gem on the doorstep is flawless....looks a bit too grateful for crumbs from the rich man's table.


No lone wolf here, the whole restaurant walked out and none of us enjoyed doing it.


My comments were made from the perspective of a local always appreciative of the courage of individuals cooking with skill, passion and a desire to entertain, not patronize their clients.


Perhaps you need to demand a little more and settle for a little less.

Crepi said...

To show that I am a positive individual in terms of the community I will share one of my own Brockley secrets: 'Bob's' fish stall in Deptford market on Saturday-2 live crabs for £5, live and cooked lobster for in region of £7 a per pound, gorgeous tuna for £3-4 a pound, brill, occasionally whole turbot for a fraction of the normal price you will pay anywhere, plus an authentic London market experience you will enjoy and which will enrich your weekend as your wallet is given some relief. Plus it's close to the excellent Wellbeloved butcher whose meat is delicious.

terrencetrentderby said...

Always thought other people were better at cooking Italian food than Italians...

Max Calò said...

Maybe Italian for foreign speakers...

NAT said...

Ah Codfathers. You're taking sides in the cod wars now!
Have to agree about Querce though. Found it to be extremely unremarkable, if that's something I could have found it to be.

Monkeyboy said...

He wouldn't be happy of the UK tradition of chips with your lasagne.

Crepi said...

Nope, enjoy and frequent both Codfathers and Bob's-anything but Iceland. it's a shame it hasn't worked out between these great individuals who have offered so much in terms of quality of life to this area. Both are highly recommended to anybody who would rather pay less for more and have not yet discovered the delights of Deptford Market.

Guelph said...

or spaghetti bolognese...

Crepi said...

I will really believe Brockley has risen when we have a porchetta van at the Saturday market, nothing better on a market day, We already have fiori di zucca courtesy of one of the salad stalls but still could benefit from some pecorino and porcini.

NAT said...

Amen to that.

Max Calò said...

I can only agree to that. But if the sky's the limit what about a stall selling warm Octopus out of a cauldron Sicilian style. That's proper wildest dreams!

Crepi said...

È sogno? o realtà How about food and art next, Brockley Market plus Brockley artists once a month or once in a blue moon, that would be a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Honest Fairy said...

"Octopus out of a cauldron"


Sounds gross.

Max Calò said...

...but smells great!

Max Calò said...

I wouldn't, (some) food is art in its own right.

Soave sia il vento said...

'f'art perhaps....

Disagree said...

There is a much better Italian at pretty much the same distance from Brockley station: Bianco 43 in Black Heath. Better quality, better choice, better service and lower prices than Le Querce.

John Barry said...

Hurray to Le Querce...best Italian bar none this side of SE London...sorry guys but Antonello never failed me...a real chef,not a cook...amazing inventiveness and real cookery skills.....a bargain of a meal for £30 including a decent wine selection ....The Times is absolutely spot on....wish there was more of this ....

Crepi said...

(F)art perhaps...soave sia il vento
Looking at the thread as a whole what is clear is that however much potential there is for a great restaurant with fabulous authentic food , the current delivery is patchy and inconsistent. This suggests a lack of discipline in the kitchen and front of house. Consistency of delivery is no enemy of expression, just the eyes firmly fixed on the goal of pleasing every customer who comes through the door. Until this happens, le Querce underperforms at its peril and should up it's game now. More acorn than oak at the moment.

Danja said...

the current delivery is patchy and inconsistent
This must be it, given the range of reactions. I've only been there 4 or 5 times, but each time it has been very good - I wouldn't go as far as top 20 in anything, but a quality meal better than any of the local competition. But I recommended it to someone else, and they were very underwhelmed. I've only been of a weekend, I wonder if weekdays can be be a bit more variable or if it isn't that simple.

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