Vinoteca, EC1M 4AA

  • 020 7253 8786
  • 7 St John Street, EC1M 4AA (streetmap) (osm) (gmap) (bingmap) (streetview)
  • noon-11pm Mon-Sat (food served noon-2:45pm, 5:45pm-10pm Mon-Fri; 12-4pm, 6-10pm Sat); closed Sun

An excellent wine bar and restaurant by Smithfield Market in Clerkenwell, with other branches in Soho and in Marylebone. It also has a wine shop and runs regular wine tasting events.

Inside, small functional wooden tables are packed closely together giving an intimate bistro like vibe to what is a pleasant modern space, with the kitchen up the back behind a bar and waiter service area. It's all very capably run, with efficient friendly service.

The menu appears to change daily and includes a good range of different dishes, all of them matched to wines by the glass photo of menu in March 2010. None of the individual courses Ewan or his friend tried was disappointing, and a few were spectacular, such as the starter of pork belly with chilli, ginger and coriander (£7) photo. The crackling wasn't crunchy, but the the meat was glazed, nicely seared and very tender, matched with a flavoursome Asian salad, suggesting the chef has taken fusion influences on board. The Arbroath smokies starters were also no slouch (£7) photo. Mains were substantial, with venison meatballs (£11.50) photo being hearty and comforting, while the Cornish Pollack was served with chick peas, cipollini onions and romesco (£12.50) photo, giving a bit of a kick to a well-cooked fish.

The short dessert menu photo in March 2010 is also well-judged and is matched with a longer list of dessert wines. The excellence of the creme fraiche pannacotta served with apple sorbet (£5) photo could hardly be matched by a simple affogatto (£4) photo, though the latter was certainly not disappointing.

Ewan's verdict: An excellent menu matched with some lovely wines, I would happily return any time or make a special trip to visit, even despite the strong competition in the neighbourhood.

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Last visited by Ewan and friend, 26 March 2010. Opening hours taken from website, April 2010.

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OS X co-ord: 531785 OS Y co-ord: 181836 (Latitude: 51.519568 Longitude: -0.100355)
Last edited 2013-02-24 23:10:32 (version 7; diff). List all versions.