Wine tasting at Vinoteca in Marylebone
It was a strange experience walking into Vinoteca on Seymour Place and seeing the restaurant practically empty. In the past, whenever I've gone, I've always had to wait at least half an hour due to their 'no reservation' policy. Oh well - I suppose it's the benefit of going the weekend right after New Years Day with most of London still away on vacation.
Vinoteca is an ideal place to go to if you feel like doing an impromptu wine tasting session. They sell wines by the glass which are quite reasonably priced and of course, being a wine bar, they have a rather extensive wine list. It was fun for me to compare the two glasses of white wine that we ordered - a dry Sauvignon from Oisley Thesee and a lovely, honey coloured Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France.
And then of course there's the food - there was this dish of snails with pancetta and watercress in a buttery, garlicky sauce which was amazing. I absolutely adore snails and am not grossed out by them at all. I think it's because their texture reminds me of mushrooms - so more familiar than frightening. What I did not enjoy was the Middlewhite pork crackling - much too greasy.
For the mains, we had the grilled Bavette - which came out perfectly medium rare with horseradish and these gigantic chips. Honestly, the chips were bigger than the steak. I found the addition of the horseradish rather strange and unwelcoming with the steak. The other main was grilled sea bass which came with little tiny clementines - a nice combination of flavours.
I can't elaborate more on the mains since we had started drinking a bottle of red wine at that point and I may have lost focus on the food! Though what did bring my attention back was dessert - the perfect chocolate fondant - decadent flourless chocolate cake with a gooey, melting middle of dark chocolate combined with some cherry ice cream. Divine!
Seymour Place is really turning out to have some good restaurants. If you remember, my last visit there was to eat some gorgeous Basque food at Donostia.
15 Seymour Place London W1H 5BD
Tel 0207 7724 7288
Tube: Marble Arch/Bond Street/ Baker Street