Peter Morrell takes a look at this highly successful restaurant/wine bar’s new location
Last year one of the birthday presents from my daughters was a Burgundy Tasting at Vinoteca in Bloomberg Arcade, just off London’s Cannon Street. It was a great event with top class wines and friendly, knowledgeable staff. We broke off about halfway through the tasting to eat in the restaurant and were impressed with the food. So, when I was invited to the opening of their new branch in Borough Market it was a ‘must attend’ event.
The new branch is in a large double height railway arch right by the famous food market and the upper level has an uninterrupted view of the historic Southwark Cathedral. Inside the walls are exposed brick giving the restaurant/bar a cosy but modern feel.
The food was a showcase of the quality, inventiveness, and variety on offer. There was something for everyone, Neal’s Yard Cheese Croquettes with Aioli, Vegan Ricotta Tartlets, Beetroot with a Pine Nut Dressing, and Crispy Cauliflower with Nigella Seed and Sriracha Mayonnaise for the vegan/vegetarian palate. For pescatarians Smoked Trout with Rye Bread, Pickled Radish and Dill Cream, and Chicory and Pepperonata with Kalamata Olives and Anchovy Breadcrumbs. The carnivores had Ginger Pig Sausage Roll (a triumph), Rhubarb Mostarda Creedy Carver Duck Liver Pate, Toasted Brioche and Piccalilli, and Bavette Skewers and Salsa Verde.
There were wines aplenty, Blanc de Blancs ‘3B’ NV, Filipa Pato, Beiras Portugal – Papegaai White Blend 2020, A A Badenhorst, Swartland South Africa – Gallina De Piel ‘Ikigall’ 2019, Penedès Spain – Douro Tinto ‘Drink Me’ 2017 Niepoort, Douro Portugal – IGP Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir 2020, Moulin de Gassac, Languedoc France. For the non-wine drinkers, the beer was the Helles Lager from Braybrooke, Leicestershire.
My guest and I majored on the Douro Tinto being poured from a double magnum. This was a bold red with smooth tannins. The four grape blend included the Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s national grape. The wine had good cherry and blackberry aromas on the nose, fruit flavours on the palate with earthy and leather notes, and a persistent fruity finish.
This latest Vinoteca branch is in the right place, with the right food and wines, at the right time. It’s buzzy, atmospheric, and just the right venue for people wanting to escape the rigours of lockdown and have a good time with friends.
18 Stoney Street
London SE1 9AD
*Opens 14th February 2022