20 questions with restaurateur Max Sali of Pimlico Road’s Tinello
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
It’s always been the dream of my brother and I to have a restaurant. Being understanding of customers is our guiding force.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
My father said I should never talk about football, women and politics. They are taken rather personally.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Italy. I came to London to study English but I didn’t go back and both my brother and I miss our home country.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
It’s very difficult to have a view on it. My brother and I are happy we don’t owe anything to the bank.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“It’s not possible”.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
We support the Street Smart homeless charity in our restaurant. It is a good cause.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
We always thought running a restaurant depended on good service and food. As we grew older, we have grown to realise the importance of such devices for communicating with our customers.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
My brother, my family, my closest friends and Giorgio and Plaxy Locatelli.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
At my restaurant. I’d eat calamari and bavette. I’d drink Barolo and a Pinot noir.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
Michael Broadbent had a sherry at breakfast so I consider that normal. A beer on holiday mid morning is normal.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Wine parties because you find peculiar characters. They’re the sort that you could write books about.
Who is the most positive person you know?
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
To go on holiday by myself.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
Two things: I’m quite understanding and strong willed so therefore it would be of a scorpion or a snake.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I come across as a hard person but I am more genuine than you’d expect.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I have a fireplace in Tuscany and on top we have pictures of hunting scenes. I used to hunt a lot with my father as a child.
Max Sali owns and runs Tinello, 87 Pimlico Road, London, SW1W 8PH with his brother Federico. He previously worked as a wine sommelier at Chez Nico, Zafferano and Locanda Locatelli.
Follow him on Twitter @max_sali and Tinello @tinello_london.
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Very much enjoyed reading this interview as I am taking my daughters and friends to Tinello for lunch on Saturday!
Lovely interview! Must give Tinello a try.