Giuseppe Turi moved to London in 1982. After holding various sommelier and restaurant management positions he struck out on his own in 1990, opening a restaurant in Putney. The establishment relocated to Pimlico in February 2016. The ground floor dining room is smartly decorated, with a full-length mirror along one wall giving the impression that the room is larger than it really is. Certainly the tables are tiny, and although they are covered with well pressed white linen tablecloths, fitting both a menu and a wine list on the table is a puzzle of Tetris proportions.
The wine list, as befits someone with a WSET diploma, is interesting and has unusually detailed notes. There were around 250 separate labels at the time of my visit, though there are apparently plans to expand this substantially. The list had a lot more red wines than whites, all Italian bar a smattering of champagne offerings, with a particularly wide selection of Barolos. Sample labels were Cantine Is Argiolus Vermentino 2015 at £34.50 for a bottle that can be found in the high street for £16, Bucerchiale Reserva 2010 at £65.50 compared to its retail price of £24, and the very enjoyable Brunello di Montalcino Talenti 2007 at £88.50 for a wine that will set you back £30 in a shop. There were plenty of posher wines too, such as Francia Barolo 2003 at a chunky £265 compared to a shop price of £99.
Breads are made in the kitchen, and included a slightly dry focaccia, so-so rye bread but good grissini (13/20 average). To begin with, spaghettini was topped with crab, tomato, garlic, chilli and rocket. The pasta had good texture and the crab tasted fresh, though it was not entirely free of shell. The chilli and garlic could have been bolder but this was still a very enjoyable pasta dish (14/20).
Papardelle pasta was excellent, having texture that was spot on, coming with ragu of Tuscan lamb. The latter for me could have had more depth of flavour and bolder seasoning, but the pasta was hard to fault (14/20).
Risotto of girolles from Scotland had suitably creamy texture, the rice having absorbed the chicken stock well, and the mushrooms were lovely (14/20). Turbot came with potatoes, olives, tomatoes and a green bean salad. This fish was capably cooked, though coming from a small specimen the flavour was limited, but the salad and vegetables were good (14/20).
Tiramisu itself had good texture, coming with gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut spread) cream, marscapone and Tia Maria ice cream, the latter oddly light in flavour (14/20). Panna cotta with rhubarb and ginger biscuit crumble has rhubarb that was surprisingly lacking in acidity, panna cotta that had texture that was reasonable but a little heavier than the ideal, and not enough ginger flavour (12/20).
Coffee was quite good. Service was excellent, with topping up flawless and our waitress friendly and attentive. The bill came to £111 a head with some good wine. If you shared a moderate bottle then a typical cost per head might be around £80. Enoteca Turi seems to have not just survived its move to Pimlico but to be flourishing, very busy on this Tuesday night in August. The menu is appealing, the cooking capable and the service slick, so it is not hard to see why it is doing well.