Vinoteca is a newcomer to W1, but they’ve honed their craft and hit the ground running with this second opening. It’s busy because of its informal vibe coupled with serious attention to detail when it comes to wine, food and service. The reasonable prices and in-house wine shop are just icing on the cake.
The cooking was mostly terrific, with hot, double-crusted meat pies 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.
Putting a roast beef and grilled onion sandwich including freshly grated horseradish on the menu as a first course is definitely spirited. Chef Will Leigh espouses homely comfort food and the main course of roasted pork and butter beans with herb crumbs, served all of a jumble, fulfilled that definition in the best possible manner...Encouraging the exploration of wine — we were given a sampling of a breezy 2009 Muller-Thurgau from Slovakia and later a nip of Venezuelan rum with little squares of chocolate truffle — and also selling it retail is an important element in this enoteca.