12 Great Places to Drink Wine in London – The New York Times
Shoreditch is sort of the Williamsburg of London, and Brat is the epitome of a great Shoreditch restaurant, effortlessly cool and seemingly uncomplicated, yet exceptional. Everything is cooked in an open kitchen over wood, and smoke permeates the spare, dimly lit dining room. The space pulses with warm energy, and the food is terrific: silken, intense crab soup; spicy beef tartare served with lettuce wraps; a venison chop full of flavor; rice served with roasted duck in a “personal wok,” the base crisp like the bottom of a Korean bibimbap. The wine list leans natural, but the classics are not ignored and great choices abound. I drank a 2020 poulsard from Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot in the Jura, made without sulfur dioxide, spicy and alive.
4 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, bratrestaurant.co.uk.
Medlar is in an area of Chelsea known as World’s End, yet this smart, unpretentious white-tablecloth bistro is a delightful reason to see life through. A two-course lunch for roughly $50 might include crisp pork croquettes in a celeriac-and-apple rémoulade followed by Cornish brill, a flatfish, with a hazelnut-and-truffle pesto, both thoughtful combinations of textures and contrasting flavors. Medlar offers a serious cheese selection, and the wine list, put together by Melania Battiston, is wide-ranging and well-priced, with plenty of the classics but also many less-familiar options from Europe, Australia, South Africa and the United States.
438 King’s Road, World’s End, medlarrestaurant.co.uk.
When it opened in 2010, Brawn, an unprepossessing brick corner restaurant in Bethnal Green in the East End, was one of London’s natural-wine pioneers. Now, it’s one of dozens of casual, hip places, with two significant differences: The extensive list of natural wines is beautifully chosen, and the food is outstanding. An appetizer of cuttlefish, chickpeas and ’nduja was savory and spicy in perfect balance; the pastas, both a lovely agnolotti stuffed with pumpkin in a sage-and-butter sauce and a spaghetti in a hearty ragû of pork shoulder, were extraordinary. I loved an expressive 2021 Roche Bézigon from Jean-Christophe Garnier, a Loire chenin blanc that is difficult to find in the United States.
49 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, brawn.co.
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