This outlet (the original is in Farringdon) is a mere cork’s pop from Oxford Street, yet completely removed in spirit. Set on a villagey parade of upmarket shops, it repeats the successful Farringdon blend of wine bar, restaurant and shop and adds some new ideas.
One is a feasting table, where groups of five to nine people can enjoy sharing dishes such as slow-roast shoulder of mutton. But you can also come alone, order a prosecco (from the tap) and enjoy bar nibbles.
We opted for a three-course meal with matching wines, a great way to experiment. Denbie’s Surrey Gold (yes, that Surrey) worked well with smoked eel, leeks and lovage dressing; more striking was the thick, honeyed vin doux from Samos, Greece, served with rhubarb jelly, palmier and vanilla ice-cream.
The cooking was mostly terrific, with hot, double-crusted meat pies (pork and prune, say, or mutton and oyster) a highlight.
Wines are always brought before the food to allow time to savour, and served with brief comments from staff. If this sounds pretentious, rest assured it’s not – Vinoteca is classily relaxed, a place that makes wine buffery fun.
The smart-casual crowd of carefully matured groovers who’ve flocked here since November 2010 confirm it.