FOOD&DRINK London Lite Wednesday, 9 September 2009 23 Ol!: celebrate Mexican Independence Day at Green & Red, where you can choose from 300 varieties of tequila Litebites Foodanddrinknews ThisisaworldawayfromHeinzontoast Heinz Beck doesnt look much like a three Michelin-starred chef. He looks like the kind of small, mole-like boffin Bond usually rescues. But in the kitchen hes a Don Juan. He wooed Michelle Obama at his famous restaurant La Pergola, in Rome, with a carbonara sauce -- only to seduce Sarah Brown with it too, who then raved about it to the 350,000 followers of her Twitter page. now its my turn. Biting into Heinzs carbonara fagottelli ravioli is like a tiny balloon of creamy deliciousness popping on your tongue. This Sensational: Apsleys serves up magical Mediterranean food from Michelin- starred chef Heinz Beck isnt food, its magic and you instantly crave more. Splash out on the tasting menu: five courses for 55 or, as we did, seven courses for 75. it is actually good value when la carte prices are about 20 for starters and 30 for mains. The cuisine is described as light Mediterranean which is just as well, given we stuffed ourselves before the first course on the six different types of bread, accompanied by two different premium olive oils and salt first made for the emperor of italy. Heinz doesnt just make you swoon over his exquisite ingredients and cooking, though a lamb crepinette was perhaps the best meat wed ever eaten. He creates inspired, contrasting sensations of taste and texture. For the unaccustomed, the cumulative courses can become overpoweringly rich, though i had no problems with the orgasmic chocolate and hazelnut setteveli, or lustily consuming the final bonus plate of heavenly petits fours. All set in the grand, plushly cushioned surroundings of the Lanesbrough Hotel, this Heinz dinner is certainly a world away from beans on toast. LaRUsHKa IvaN-ZaDeH ApSleySAHeInzBeckReStAuRAnt the lanesborough, Hyde park corner, SW1, 020 7259 5599; three courses la carte with coffee, wine and service, 180 Proven puddings Just in time for autumn food cravings, Aunt Bessies has a new range of desserts with old school classics syrup sponge, jam roly poly and spotted dick. All microwaveable from frozen in minutes, theyre available at major retailers from 1.29. auntbessies.co.uk The new black... CuLINARY event organisers Bompas & Parr have an outlandish diary. On 23 september a Black Banquet feast of black food is at the London Design Festival; from 1-4 October try edible rose bushes and glowing cocktails at Hendricks Horseless Carriage of Curiosities. jellymongers.co.uk Freebie and beans NO suCH thing as a free lunch, but free coffees a different matter. Next week (14-18 september, 8am to 10am), selected Giraffes will dish out free lattes, espressos and cappuccinos. No strings attached: they just want us to try their hand- roasted, ethically sourced beans. giraffe.net Fine and online... ItALIAN deli Luigis, purveyors of fine food since 1973, is now online. the cyberstore cant quite compete with the Fulham Road site, but it sells Luigis own olive oil, from 7.95, and his award-winning bolognese sauce, 4. luigismailorder.com Wise up to wines FOR a simple, inexpensive specialist wine course try Vinoteca. the Farringdon shop/bar kicks off its informal tasting sessions with How to taste Wine, Wednesday 16 september, 25 per person. Vinoteca, 7 St John Street, Smithfield, EC1 (020 7253 8786) l l l l l HILaRy aRmsTRONG Wellequipped Stonebake pizza oven sAY goodbye to takeaway pizza and instead invest in this stonebake pizza oven, which gives you that authentic wood-fired taste in the comfort of your own home. Just think of the fun you could have devising your own toppings... 59.95, gilesandposner.com burritos. Turn up on the day or register at justgiving.com/chilangoburritoeatingcontest. 71 Upper Street, N1 (020 7704 2123, chilango.co.uk) Taqueria NoTTiNg Hills Taqueria is celebrating the festival with live Mariachi music and margaritas -- try the sanda (watermelon and chilli salt rim, 7.50). There is also a dizzying array of tacos to choose from -- our favourites are tinga, shredded chicken in a chilli chipotle with onion, tomato sauce and avocado (4.90) suadero, slow-cooked beef with chorizo, spring onion and salsa (6.50) and camarn al mojo de ajo, garlicky chargrilled prawns with chilli chipotle, coriander and avocado mash (5). 139-143 Westbourne Grove, W11 (020 7229 4734, taqueria.co.uk) Mestizo iN THe run-up to independence Day, Mestizo is hosting its fourth annual Festival gastrnomico, a tour of the countrys local cuisines, featuring a selection of 20 starters and 20 main courses. Highlights include sopa tapachulteca, creamed pumpkin flower and sweetcorn soup (7.50) from Chiapas, and pulpitos en vino tinto, sauted octopus with oregano and tomatoes in red wine (8) from Campeche. it culminates with a four-course feast on the 15th (48 per person) when diners will be entertained by a Mariachi band. 103 Hampstead Road, NW1 (020 7387 4064, mestizomx.com) Tortilla burriTo bar Tortilla is hosting a family celebration from midday until 4pm on saturday with a hot sauce- eating contest. enjoy independence Day tacos at 2.50 and then watch the fun. The competition sees entrants try 25 of the worlds best hot sauces. For every completed tasting, entrants will receive a ticket into a draw for a years supply of burritos. 13 Islington High Street, N1 (020 7833 3103, tortilla.co.uk) tequila revolutiontequila revolution Theperfect margarita TEzN BlaNCo MaRGaRITa l50ml Tezn Blanco l30ml fresh lime juice l20ml agave nectar or syrup or use Cointreau sHAke all the ingredients with ice cubes, strain into a half-salted cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge. For an alternative, you can mix it up by adding fresh mandarin instead of lime. Recipe from cafepacifico- laperla.com index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html