I have to start by saying that I absolutely love the original Vinoteca in Farringdon (you can read my laudatory review here), so I was more than intrigued when its sister restaurant opened on Seymour Place in Marylebone about 6 months ago. In short – my expectations on my first visit toÂ Vinoteca Seymour Place were high and were not fully met, at least not food-wise.
But let me start with the general concept of Vinoteca (applies to Vinoteca in Farringdon and Seymour Place) which is great. Firstly, you can’t book. One is almost not used anymore to having no reservation and it gives a little of spontaneity back. Even if there is no table available for you straight away (it is useful, even though already slightly less spontaneous, to call 20 min before you are planning to go to check out the general situation/supposed waiting time), you can wait at the bar, enjoying their wonderful wines.
This brings me to the second formidable thing about Vinoteca, which – you might have guessed – is the wine. They have a wonderful selection (at least as far as I can tell) and always give you the take away price as well as the mark-up when you drink the bottle in.
The ambiance at Vinoteca Seymour Place is extremely pleasant – the rustic furniture made out of dark wood and the relaxed waiting staff are as far away from pretentious as possible. It is a good place just to hang out and have a glass of wine with friends. Even though I promise you it’s not going to stay one glass…
But now the food. At my visit to Vinoteca Seymour Place it was nothing special, in fact some of the dishes were not particularly enjoyable actually.
I really liked the starter of Golden beetroot & goats cheese salad with russet apples and walnut (7.50) as I am a big fan of the combination of sweet, sour and goat’s cheese. However, I leave you to judge whether this portion might be slightly overpriced.
The Roast brill with cime di rappa, anchocy and chili oil (16.50) was really not very successful. The predominating taste was salt and the fish was overcooked and dry.
The grilled marinated bavette 15.00 was good, with nicely cooked chips, tender meat and a rather lovely sauce. It came with horseradish which worked quite well with the meat. It did not, however, reach the exceptional levels of the bavette with smoked tomato ketchup that I tremendously enjoyed at the Vinoteca Farringdon.
I can’t remember anything about the dessert, Chocolate Torte Sainte Emilion (6.00). If this is because it was unremarkable or because I had a glass of this amazing red wine (I sadly forgot the name) too many, I don’t know…
I would still go back and to this restaurant and give the food another try because I like most about it and I could imagine that I was just unlucky at my (one and only) visit. I really hope I was, as there are few places in London that manage to be relaxed, inviting and cutting edge at the same time. And this to relatively reasonable prices.
- Food: 5/10
- Service: 7/10
- Ambiance: 8/10
- Value for money: 6/10
- Chances of returning: 10%
- Verdict: great wine bar, so so food.