Vinoteca in Farringdon refers to itself as a bar and wine shop but I think of it as a cosy bistro with an excellent selection of wine.
I had been wanting to go for a while but they have a no reservation policy, which means you have to time it right. Having missed out a couple of times, I was delighted to get in for lunch a few weeks ago and it turned out to be well worth the wait.
The menu has a good selection, around six dishes for each course and a recommended wine is listed for each dish. As they had gone to so much effort it seemed rude not to go with the matching wines but, if you prefer to choose your own, they have an impressive selection to choose from – almost 300 varieties.
Each day Vinoteca have a dish of day which you can order on its own for £8.95 or with a glass of wine for £9.95. With the other mains ranging from £9.95 to £15.50 this is excellent value. What I was particularly impressed by was the quality. Often if I order the dish of the day or a fixed price menu, the quality is notably inferior to the rest of the menu and, as I see other diners being served dishes from the normal menu, I end up feeling shortchanged. However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth with my Hereford meatballs. They were actually my favourite dish from the entire meal.
The restaurant has a really relaxed atmosphere. It’s always busy but manages to maintain a cosy feel and despite having a full house, the service was excellent. Everything we ate was delicious and the matching wines were a really nice touch, perfectly complementing the food.
I have a feeling that this may have been the first of many visits to Vinoteca – if I can get a table that is! A big thumbs up. 9/10.
Smoked haddock and coley croquettes with tartare sauce
Salad of chestnuts with figs, pecorino Toscano and chestnut honey
Tagliatelle with Hereford meatballs
Chocolate terrine with peanut butter ice-cream
Cherry crumble with cream cheese ice-cream