If you’re already familiar with Bottles in Spitalfields Market, you’ll already have high expectations of its second site, which at the beginning of January 2020, opened across the river, in Chelsea. Specialising in sustainable, independent and organic producers, Bottles handpicks all of its wines, primarily from Italy, which can be enjoyed alongside a selection of small plates. Though Italy is where the main pickings of wine are from, the list extends to a world-wine selection, each bottle chosen for its unique profile.
The menu is split into Bites, To Share, Pasta, Main Courses and Desserts but this is very much a sharing menu, as a dish from the ‘Main Courses’ wouldn’t quite suffice. On recommendation from the waitress, we chose Arancino Beccafico – their take on an arancini, with pine nuts, wild fennel, raisins and anchovies, as well as the squid taco, with pineapple. coriander cress and friggitelli peppers. We also had the vegan ‘meatballs’, a mixture of lentils, sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a baked olive sauce. We enjoyed these with a glass of white wine, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape before moving onto a bottle of Chateau Lyonnat Lussac St. Emilion 2012 – a beautifully well-rounded red from Bordeaux. With the pasta being freshly made, especially one as indulgent as the Truffle Tagliolini, we knew we had to try it. Arriving in a perfect coil, the fresh pasta was served with anchovy butter and freshly grated truffle. It was delicious, I just wanted more. We also tried their take on ‘Fish n’ Chips’, black cod with a french fries foam – nice, different but a little underwhelming. Dessert was unfortunately very much the same, lacking any real flavour or the indulgence I expected.
To sum it up…
First and foremost, Bottles is a wine bar; wine comes first, the food comes second. That’s not to say it isn’t tasty, but compared to the standard of wines on offer, it didn’t quite compare. If you like drinking wine and talking about wine, you won’t be disappointed spending an evening at Bottles. With over 100 bottles and a sommelier who is more than happy to share his wealth of knowledge, it’s certainly a place I will be returning to.
100 Draycott Avenue,