A few weeks ago I was invited to check out the build of the new Vinoteca in Marylebone. The aim of the visit was for Vinoteca to show us their new bag in box wine concept. Now, while they know that this is by no means a new concept, they want to prove to us that you can get really good quality wine in the boxes. We were able to try all of the wines and they were all very good. My favourite was the White. They are sold by the bottle and are priced at around (I say around because I can’t remember the exact prices) £17 for a bottle at the table, £7 to take away and £6.50 for a refill.
So when my dad asked me where I wanted to go for my Birthday/Christmas dinner, naturally I chose the new Vinoteca.
They don’t take bookings so it is advisable to arrive relatively early. We arrived at 6.30pm and were shown straight to a table, which I think was the only free one. Lucky! When I went a few weeks ago, it was literally just a white shell but I was pleasantly surprised to see the finished results. There is a lot of brown but that is one of my favourite colours so I liked that. When you first walk in you see two things.
1. The extensive wine shelved all the way up to the ceiling to your right
2. The open kitchen right ahead of you
The restaurant is relatively dimly lit and I loved the atmosphere – the perfect number of diners and not too loud. The tables are very well spaced out as well.
What I really liked when I visited a few weeks ago was the fact that they said they would have Prosecco on tap and sure enough they do. I loved this idea so had to try a glass. Delicious, the perfect way to start the meal.
For starter we all shared the Linguine with Crab, Chilli, Garlic and Parsley, which looked small when arrived but was a great sized starter. The three of us tucked in and it was gone within minutes – the Linguine was clearly home made, which was a great start as not many restaurants I go to make their own fresh pasta. It was also drizzled with Chilli oil, which gave it a rich orange colour. It was bloomin gorgeous!! I would love to see an option to have this as a main course too.
For main I opted for Roast Bril with Cime Di Rapa, Anchovy and Chilli Oil. My dad and boyfriend both went for the Smoked Haddock with Braised Lentils and Mustard Cream. Although the dishes look relatively small when they arrived, I think they have got their portions just right. A main alone wouldn’t be enough but I wouldn’t go to a restaurant like this without sharing a starter and a dessert anyway.
The Brill was crispy on the outside and seasoned with Chilli flakes and oil – I was loving all of the subtle Chilli in the dishes. The only thing that I couldn’t see or distinguish were the Anchovies.
I tried some of the Haddock, which was cooked perfectly. The lentils were crunchy, which worked well with the soft Haddock. The mustard shone through as soon as I put the fork in mouth, delicious.
The dessert menu was put in front of us and while I didn’t want a whole one to myself, I made someone share the Chocolate Torte with me. It arrived, a tiny slither on the plate placed next to a well distributed dollop of Chantilly cream. We tucked in and there were smiles all around. I noticed that toward the edge, there was a bit of marzipan – I’m wondering if it was this that gave the torte it’s sweetness?
Head chef William Leigh has joined the new site after working alongside Rowleigh Leigh at Le Cafe Anglais. William keeps the menu seasonal by adding at least one different dish each day and there are around 6 starters, 6 mains and 5 puddings at all times, which keeps it easy for the small open plan kitchen to turn the dishes around. I have to say that the chefs didn’t look under pressure, which was great to add to the relaxing atmosphere.
By the end of the meal I felt very relaxed and at home. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the food and I loved the decor – simple but warming. The new Vinoteca gives me yet another excuse to save my pennies and attempt to move to Marylebone!
A meal for 3 sharing a starter, main courses, sharing a dessert and drinks came to £86. Service is included. I’d say it’s pretty good value.
15 Seymour Place
020 7724 7288