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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Galante, South Kensington



Once married to Madonna, who once played Evita, I guess Sean Penn is uniquely qualified to pontificate on the sovereignty of The Falklands. With political colossus Penn busy Brit-bashing in Buenos Aires, is it wise to reccie an Argentine outpost in London tonight? Might hostile staff at a watering hole attached to Sloane Avenue steakhouse Gaucho Grill torture us with cocktail sticks? Frankly, with muddles and mixes this good, let them take me hostage. Waitresses are the friendliest of ambassadors for their country. Looking dapper and dangerous to know in well-cut cream tuxedos, dashing caballeros prepare top notch rinses following the recipes of 1930’s Latin American ‘cóctel’ king Santiago Policastro... aka ‘Pichín’...aka ‘el Barman Galante’ - hence the swish gaff’s monicker. Discover Pichín signature, El Pato - basically, a turbo-charged Negroni (£9.50); order Derby Criollo, a pink grapefruit julep using Legui, a native rum, sugar and herbal tea liqueur; or brave Zonda, a potent white rum, apricot brandy and gin martini that could sink a destroyer in the River Plate. Reasonably priced (for Chelsea), copetines - the local equivalent of tapas - are also served and presentation is muy elegante. Challenging decor is a curious mix of art deco sophistication and trashy 70s glam rock: Galante’s silver (Gary) glitter resin floor as dazzling as its drinks. 
87 Sloane Avenue SW3 www.bargalante.com