53-55 Beak Street
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Feb 28 2012
What’s going on here? A new wine bar in Soho, up-to-the-minute design, small plates of pan-Euro food to share… and it takes bookings! The third Vinoteca branch, after the original in Farringdon and another in Marylebone, fits right in with the sort of places that are appearing like a rash all over this area at the moment. But it puts customers first and lets them actually decide what time they want to eat – although bookings are restricted to a dining area upstairs. So that signifier of a hot new opening, a queue, is inevitable.
In many ways the new Vinoteca is similar to the others. It’s somewhere you come to drink off the beaten track, distinctive wines from independent producers – at the moment, the menu lists the likes of an Innocent Bystander pinot gris from Australia, an English bacchus and a classic Alsatian pinot noir, all by the glass. They’re also all available to take away in bottle. Unlike some wine bars, food is an even match for the wine, and vice versa. Prosecco comes on tap and so costs a very democratic £3.95 a glass.
Bread’s baked every day on the premises, and Continental cured hams and sausages are a speciality. ‘All our meats are cut to order on our hand-cranked 1950s Berkel slicer,’ the menu says. Does that make them taste better? Who knows, but it certainly adds character to the room, which is a very nice place to spend time. Big windows look on to busy Beak Street, and brick walls display vast vintage European advertising posters. The ceilings are bare concrete, and the furniture below is all comfortable dark wood. Light fittings are thankfully not the bare-filament bulbs du jour, but smart 1950s Festival of Britain chandeliers.
As for the food and wine – the wines were brilliant and the dishes we tried were good, up to the high standards you’d expect from a Vinoteca. Steamed mussels and clams came in a tomato and chorizo broth with caper berries; a small plate of mackerel saw beautifully grilled fillets offset with an interesting pile of rhubarb, chilli and lovage. All dishes come with a wine-by-the-glass suggestion, and the young and trendy staff – very Soho – are happy to offer informed suggestions.
Vinoteca 53-55 Beak Street
020 3544 7411
- Opening hours:
Open noon-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus tube
Main courses £10-£21. House wine £15.50 bottle, £2.70 glass
- 53-55 Beak Street
- 020 3544 7411
- 53-55 Beak Street
Food and drink
Drinks. Wine buffs