The latest addition to Jason Atherton’s ‘Social Company’ is Social Wine and Tapas, a restaurant, bar and wine shop on James Street in Marylebone.
Wine is very much the focus here with a relatively short tapas menu to accompany the wines – a great spot for lunch or a quick dinner.
Designed around 3 open kitchens with counter seats at each one, there are also regular tables that are lined along walls of wine bottles.
Upstairs feels bright and airy, and while our table downstairs was in a beautiful room of modern industrial features, it did feel a little dark on a beautiful summer’s day.
The ham croquettes were delicious: small, light balls, akin to arancini, delicately fried with an intense centre.
Vegetable dishes offer vibrant colours and beautiful presentation in the form of an heirloom tomato salad with truffle burrata, and salt-baked beetroot with sairass cheese and pine nut dressing.
Szechuan fried chipirones with a squeeze of lime and squid-ink aioli was a firm favoruite, as were the huge pardon peppers and the beautifully presented pan con tomate. The rose veal & foie gras burgers, however, were disappointingly small and lacking in flavour.
Judged on the food alone, I would come back to Social Wine and Tapas tomorrow, but service was slow with long waits trying to order, and they don’t take reservations.
Securing a table at lunch should be fine (it was fairly quiet on a Wednesday afternoon), but if dinner time is busy and you’re prepared to queue, ask for a seat at one of the counters, make your way through the wine list and order portion after portion of those ham croquettes.
Social Wine and Tapas features in our guide to the best restaurants in Marylebone.
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