Vinoteca Kings Cross, London

3.18.2015

Before entering Vinoteca, I wasn't aware of that it was a wine bar. Here at Kings Cross, Vinoteca latest newly open branch just behind the train station with a wine list so vast (over 270 wines) it's hard to resist not getting a glass.

It has never been my job picking a wine for dinner, I do know my red to white from pinot noir to barbera to sauvignon blanc to gewürztraminer. Having a companion who deemed himself to be a vivid wine drinker (not forgetting about whisky), Mr T was studying the folder of their drinks menu like a student. With wines from all over the world, the markups on wine seem perfectly reasonable and fair. Having eaten in many other places where the markup is often three times the retail price I find Vinoteca's approach to pricing far fairer. As you can buy all wine sold there at shop prices you have the ability to see what that wine would cost if bought to enjoy at home.

Brunch Menu

Breakfast Drinks

All Day A La Carte Menu

Bread & Olive Oil

I like how even on a breakfast/brunch menu, you can get wine tailored for breakfast. Interestingly we were here for lunch (yes, we did skipped breakfast), so it was only wise to go for the non breakfast menu. The menu is seasonal and each dish comes with a wine recommendation. Starting of with a nibble of bread and olive oil. The bread was served warm, it was fresh, soft and a crispy crust. Also very good olive oil.

Selection of Cured Meats (San Danielle, Finocchiona, Chorizo Magno)

Crispy Spiced Cornish Squid, Aïoli and Lemon

We went for the recommended wine pairings for all our food. The selection of cured meats was decent, the San Danielle being the tastiest. Paired with a glass of Amontillado Goyesco, Rodriguez La Cave. It is a type of sherry and went nicely with the cured meats. The squid looked unattractive but still satisfying, with a glass of Clare Valley Riesling 2014 (Rodney & The Horse, Australia). Too acidity at first, after some time it tasted a lot better but by that time the squid was gone.

Grilled Cornish Mackerel, Warm Pickled Vegetables, Capers and Pine Nuts

Chargrilled Marinated Bavette Steak, Wild Garlic Butter, Watercress and Chips

Mains wise, the mackerel was cooked perfectly, perhaps even better if it was filleted and didn't have that many bones. The pickled vegetables was refreshing and still maintained a crunch. Delightful with the Douro Branco 2013 (Lavradores De Feitoria, Portugal). I wasn't too keen seeing a slab of butter on top of the steak, as the temperature wasn't hot enough to melt over the steak I wasn't too sure to what to do with the butter (it was still there after the steak, chips and salad was all eaten) and I don't like horseradish either. The steak itself was tender and juicy cooked to medium rare and the chips were reasonable, crispy and fluffy. Can't complain with a glass of Malbec ‘Vista’ 2013 (Carmelita, Argentina).

Service was attentive and friendly, relaxed ambience and slightly rustic décor. My only criticism is to let the wine breathe first before serving, as it tasted its best towards end of the dish. At Vinoteca, you are spoilt by the wine choices but the food doesn't get the pulse racing. For some, they like matching food with wine and vice versa. For others, the plate is more interesting than what is in the glass. I enjoy good food and great wine together, but food will always play the most important part.

Score Rating: 3/5
Price: £30-40/head (50% soft launch, £49 for 2 people)

Vinoteca on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

http://www.vinoteca.co.uk/kingscross/

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