So dining inside is back, as of last week. Although outside dining has been open for a while – coinciding with the grottiest spring weather ever in the UK – it is now time to return to the ‘normal’ restaurant experience. I wasn’t a fan of outside dining: I tried it once and ended up shivering through the whole meal sitting on a pavement. After all, part of the restaurant experience is eating in the restaurant: it’s the stuff around the food that brings out the best of what’s on our plates.
My first post-opening outing was to an old favourite: The Remedy. It’s a small but perfectly formed wine bar in Cleveland Street, close to the BT Tower and Regent’s Park, and not very far from where I worked for 15 years as a science editor (in Portland Place). It felt so good to be back there, sitting at the bar.
The list at The Remedy is a really good one. This isn’t a natural wine bar as such, but there’s plenty of wine there that would count as natural. It’s more an authentic wine bar, with pretty much everything on the carefully chosen list worth drinking. It’s a no-nonsense list: just the names of the wines and the prices, with a sheet for whites, a sheet for reds, and then a large section of orange wines, a small section for sparkling and also some very old madeiras by the glass.
Food is from a short menu, with small plates. We ate mushroom gnocchi, asparagus, croquetas, burrata and ravioli. All were pretty much perfect.
Two wines. Both Spanish, both amazing. Taganan red 2019 from Envinate is a special wine from Tenerife. It’s a blend of Listán Negro, Listán Gaucho, Malvasia Nera, Negramoll, Baboso and others, and has fantastic focus and freshness. It’s a wine that’s very easy to drink, but which has complexity if you go looking for it. £53, and worth it. The second bottle was the PF 2018 from Juan-Antonio Ponce. It’s a varietal Bobal from Manchuela, and has likeability and drinbkability, but also enough complexity to hold the interest. £44, and – again – worth it.
It was a lovely evening in this small but perfectly formed wine bar.