Located just up from Smithfield market, and within striking distance for anyone who has to spend too much time around St Paul’s, the stock exchange, and the various banks in the neighbourhood, Vinoteca is a local gem, no doubt about it.
To be fair, I could be enormously biased by the fact that they happen to have one of the most interesting lists of wine by the glass at reasonable prices in town. Of course, it could also be the fact that they have one of the most gorgeous waiters in town. Either way, what they have going works very well.
The menu at Vinoteca is straight forward fare with reasonably sized starters (and some that can be increased for sharing – like their selection of Spanish cured meats, including a salcichon that was like butter (that’s a good thing)). Janice and I shared this and then launched into the mains – she having the quail, and I a hunk of braised beef with mash, button mushrooms, and some sour cream and sauce. It may have been a bit early yet in the season for braised beef, as Janice rightly pointed out – that may be more of a November/December thing, but it still hit the spot.
Dessert was coffee and a chocolate truffle for me, and that was the perfect way to round off the meal before continuing to dash about town in the afternoon.
So, how does Vinoteca stack up?
Lunch at Vinoteca
Food: 7 out of 10
Service: 8 out of 10
Atmosphere: 7 out of 10 – something’s missing and suits are starting to appear
Sexy Factor: 9.5 out of 10 – and it’s not just for London’s hottest waiter (did I mention this already… *drool*), but the crowd at Vinoteca has that hip, Clerkenwell, I-work-for-a-charity-so-please-love-me thing going on
Return?: Definitely! (Did I mention the sexiest waiter in London?)