Vinoteca is primarily a wine bar, but that does not stop it serving damn good food with genuine hospitality. Vinoteca is situated on that gastronomic boulevard that is St John’s road in Farringdon. It has large doors opening onto the street and an open kitchen. On nice days, tables spill on to the pavement as people dine alfresco, while in winter time the simple dark timber decor lined with shelves of wine is cosy and inviting.
Wine is of course a specialty, the wine list is comprehensive with many wines available by the glass as well. I was there for a work lunch so we could not indulge too much, but we ordered a bottle of the curiously named “Plan B!” semillon sauvignon on our waiters recommendation and it was fantastic. I opted for the entree of fresh figs, mozzarella, basil and walnut salad. I love fresh figs and these did not disappoint, the rich flavour highlighted by the creamy mozzarella and sharp vinaigrette dressing. My fellow working lunchers selected for the roasted tomato and red pepper soup (also a hit) and one intrepid luncher had the deep sand fried eels which he reported although very tasty had a weird taste sensation as you munched on the tiny bones of the eels.
As a main course I had the sea bass, tomato, saffron, clam and fregola stew. The sea bass was a crispy skinned fillet, perfectly moist inside and laid across the top of the fregola stew. I had no idea what fregola was but I have discovered that it a type of Sicilian pasta that is almost like cous cous. I can report that I am now a fregola fan. It had a delicious flavour as it had somehow soaked up all the fantastic tomato and fish juices.
We had to get back to work so were not able to linger for dessert and in any event we were too full. I didn’t mind, I knew that I would be back as soon as I could as for me Vinoteca is everything I want in a restaurant even though it is really a wine bar.