21 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N
WHAT? The sixth branch of successful modern European wine bar and restaurant Vinoteca. This is a land where British roast pheasant rubs along just fine with burrata, calamari, cote de boeuf and a bottle of Riesling. It’s almost like Brexit never happened.
WHERE? On the ground floor of Bloomberg’s new HQ, flaunting its curves opposite Cannon Street station. It’s buzzing, but cramped, packing in a bar, tables, countertops and booths, a wine shop and a mezzanine-level dining room seating 40 people.
WHO? Three oenophile chums Brett Woonton, Charlie Young and Elena Ares who opened their first Italian-style wine bar – a vinoteca – in Farringdon 12 years ago. Head chef Kieren Steinborn, formerly of Alain Ducasse and The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe, oversees a menu that changes weekly.
Orecchiette with sage and butter
WHAT’S ON THE MENU? A selection of bar snacks, meats and cheeses if you’re just dropping by, and a full Ploughman’s lunch if you mean business. Generously-portioned dishes off the main menu come coupled off with a by-the-glass wine recommendation, an “off-piste” selection of over 250 vinos stretching from Rioja Blanco to Cornish Bruts. It’s a great way to discover new tipples alongside wintry comforts, like pork chop and mash potatoes with wild mushrooms or a bargain bavette steak and chips that arrives complete with a glass of Malbec for £15.
DON’T MISS… The exceptional pasta, listed as a starter or a main, so you have two opportunities to try it out. My orecchiette was tossed in sage and butter until it glistened. Ditch the spinach and order a seasonal side of crispy flowering sprouts sprinkled in celery salt off the bar menu, instead.
Inside Vinoteca City
NEED TO BOOK? Friday lunch in the City is usually rammed, but this was “we haven’t got a table for 45 minutes” rammed. Visit vinoteca.co.uk/bookings.
THE VERDICT… A shiny, continental addition to the City with a convivial atmosphere and a truly impressive wine cellar. Bring lively clients and discerning colleagues.
ONE MORE THING… Not on the corporate account? Treat yourself to the fixed price lunch menu offering two courses for £15 and three for £18, available Monday to Friday until 3pm.