Once the home of a duchess in the early 19th century, Cannizaro House became a boutique hotel in the 1980s. The main 60-seat restaurant has a view over the garden, is carpeted and has generously spaced tables. The head chef is Christian George, who has worked here for seven years, after initially training with Anton Edelman at The Savoy. Starters were priced at around £10, main courses £17.50 - £26, vegetables at £4, desserts £7. A set menu offered three courses at £29.50.
The wine list came in a bulky folder but was not particularly lengthy, the list heavily but not exclusively French. Costieres Nimes 2009 from the Rhone was £36 for a wine that you can find in a shop for around £12, Berthet-Raynes 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape was £62 for a wine that retails at £21, Domaine Gerin Cote Rotie 2004 at a fair price of £90 given that the wine will set you back around £69 in the high street. Mark Kreydenweiss Riesling was almost the only Alsace wine, an enjoyable bottle fairly priced at £42 for a wine that retails at £25 or more.
Cornish anchovy with capers was served on crispy tomato bread, and was very nice indeed: the fish fresh, the capers and tomato flavours going well with the oily fish (easily 14/20). Bread is from Millers, a local bakery. I have noticed that the quality of breads from here varies quite widely, probably due to some restaurants serving it in better condition than others. Here it tasted fresh, a selection of seeded granary, olive, onion and Parmesan bread. The olive bread in particular was very good (14/20).
Courgette flower stuffed with scallop and crab was an enjoyably old-school dish, the seafood mousse having good texture, the courgette flower adding some texture and being a pretty way to present it (14/20). Smoked salmon is not something that the kitchen really intervened in too much, but was nicely presented and was very pleasant.
For main course, mallard was served with granola, parsley root fondant, damson jus and liver croute. The duck was cooked nicely pink and the liver gave a rich but enjoyable extra flavour dimension to the dish (14/20). Butternut squash risotto was topped with marinated goat curd and black truffle. The texture of the rice was fine, the squash having reasonable flavour but it was a tad salty, even to my taste (13/20). Honey glazed Chantenay carrots on the side had plenty of flavour, cooked quite al dente (14/20).
A pre-dessert was caramelised white chocolate with green apple sorbet and raspberry puree with a chocolate crumble. White chocolate can be a rather dull creature, but the fruit here added flavour and the crumble an extra texture (14/20). Technically white chocolate is not chocolate at all, but rather a derivative made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk, vanilla, and a fat called lecithin.
Cheese was all from the UK and was in good condition, such as Colsten Basset Stilton. William pear and ginger compote with nut crumble and muscavado ice cream has good ice cream, but the pear was not very sharp, so the dish was a little lacking in acidity (13/20). Coffee was pleasant, served with a few petit fours including a very good passion fruit jelly.
Service from our Slovakian waitress was excellent, topping up spot-on. The bill came to £77 a head including wine, which seemed to me fair. I liked the overall experience at Cannizaro House, which has capable food, a relaxed setting and good service. Wimbledon has very few good restaurants so this is a great addition to the area.