Feb 9 2013



I went to Vinoteca for dinner for my friend Santa’s birthday. We went to the Marylebone branch although there are 2 other branches, one in Soho and one in Clarkenwell. Vinoteca is inspired by the wine bars of Spain and Italy which also often function as wine shops and these wine bars have a great atmosphere and you can drink, buy wines and have good food there, which is what Vinoteca aims to achieve. The first Vinoteca opened in 2005 in Farringdon and Vinoteca stocks nearly 300 wines and 25 of these you can drink by the glass (and they are changed all the time apparently). Dan Richards is the head chef of the Marylebone branch and each of the different branches will have slightly different food as the chef will chose what to have on the menu, so do remember this review has nothing to do with the food in Vinoteca’s Soho and Clerkenwell branches, but note all premises do have the same cured meat imported from Spain and their bavette steak (none of them which I had). As it was a large group of us and we were sitting in the private dining room in the basement of Vinoteca we had a set menu and we could chose our starter, main course and desert from 3 options that we were given. Note afterwards when I looked at Vinoteca’s a la carte menu I could only find 1 thing that our special menu had as well and which overlapped, but as food in Vinoteca changes all the time I think this can still be a reflective review of Vinoteca.

For the starter I chose the “Cornish sardines & lime mayo” and I got 2 pieces of sardine with some rocket salad and lime mayo. There was not very much to eat here at all, I was feeling hungry afterwards and overall I was not that impressed with the dish. My boyfriend had the “wild garlic soup” which was ok, but not very garlicy at all (I personally love garlic), and you can also see a picture of “chicken liver pate, toast and pickle” that some other people had. For the main course I ordered a “squash and goats cheese tart” and once again it was very small and it was served with the same rocket that I had with my sardines. Also it was not especially tasty which meant after this meal I was still feeling hungry. My boyfriend had the “confit duck leg, lentils and clementines”. I tried some duck which I think was a bit overcooked and I did like the lentils but thought the clementines were a bit random just being scattered around there, once again was not that impressed. You can also see the third main course they offered “coley, champ, mussels and clams” and if you don’t know what coley and champ are, coley is a type of fish similar to cod and champ is the Irish name for mashed potatoes with chopped spring onions, butter and milk. This dish looked the best to be fair but as there were many foreigners around that did not really know what coley and champ were not many people chose this dish. For the desert I had the selection of sorbets, and I was given a mango, a lemon and a peppermint with chocolate sorbets. Other people had “chocolate fondant and black cherry ice cream” and “lemon posset & shortbread”.

Maybe the food was worse because we had a special set menu to choose from and I know how hard it can be cooking for a large group of people together, so maybe this place usually does serve better food than we had a chance to taste. But yes my experience was not great. On paper the dishes looked interesting and when I was reading the menu I was excited but the execution let them down.

Date: 09/02/13
Price for 2 with alcohol: £90
Location: Marylebone (but there are other locations)

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15 Seymour Place W1H 5BD
United Kingdom
Vinoteca Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2