Friday, December 2, 2011

Vinoteca, 23rd November

This entry is actually found in the 'Drink' List but I ended up going for lunch here in order to celebrate the launch of an app I had been working on. We were dining on our company's dime and one of my colleagues suggested Vinoteca. I immediately seconded that suggestion as it was somewhere on my List and my other half had said the steak looked good every time he walked past and spied on the diners. 

We also happened to be going on my last week of work and so it was sort of a goodbye meal as well. Which made it feel even more apt that we take the chance to have a glass of wine - I mean, the place is called Vinoteca, clearly wine is something they should do well.

A couple of my co-diners had been there before and one of them recommended the steak. How could I refuse? So I had the bavette (served medium rare only) with amusingly named black trumpet butter, chips and smoked ketchup. For each meal they recommend a wine to accompany it, and, placing my faith in their wisdom, I went with their suggestion. Most of us in fact had the bavette, or the pork belly. One eschewed the meat peer pressure and went for langoustine. She asked if she could have some chips with it as it only came with a salad and was informed that 'they don't do that'. Tsk tsk, how dare she ask for some extra food! So that was a bit of a black mark for them.

But then the steak came and blotted out all memories of any slight lack in service. How can I describe it? I think this sums it up nicely: Mmmmmm mmm hhhhmmmmmmmhhhh. *gurgle*. Sooo good. The chips were amazing. The ketchup was indeed smoky and the butter I can only assume was properly trumpety considering they got everything else right.

Mmmm close up
I swapped with my friend a piece of my meat for a bit of pork belly and that was pretty amazing too. And they weren't shy in the portion size, nor did they serve up a bit of belly that was mostly fat. 

I think the only meal that was a little disappointing was the langoustines. They certainly looked impressive on the plate, with their long claws stretched across it, but there were only four or five of them and though they took as long to eat as our slabs of meat, they weren't anywhere near as filling for my colleague. I pitied her for her lack of chips. This is why I tend not to order shellfish - too much work for too little reward. Plus I find de-shelling them a bit gross.

I got a glimpse of Vinoteca's Christmas menu which was pretty mouthwatering. Especially the desserts. Something we didn't try when we were there. 

I'm no wine expert so I can't wax too lyrical about my glass other than to say it was eminently quaffable and put me in a wine drinking state of mind, which sadly I had to extinguish as we were going back to the office. 

I'm sure I will be back at some point when I can spend longer sampling some more vino varieties. 

Vinoteca on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.