I already knew that I’d like Social Wine and Tapas before I’d even tried it. Not only were my friends Lauren and Catherine big fans, but star chef and restauranteur, Jason Atherton always gets everything right. Having loved Sosharu, Pollen Street Social and City Social, there was no doubt my mind that the tapas restaurant in Marylebone would be the perfect lunch venue for myself, my bestie and Mr S one Saturday.
Upstairs is a lively counter and open kitchen but we were led to our table downstairs, a more spacious and sexy basement dining room. Sultry light wasn’t the best for photos but it was good for setting a cosy and intimate atmosphere. A bottle of wine ordered from the extensive list created by head sommelier, Laure Patry, and it was time to get started on the food. A pan con tomate was deliciously crisp with a topping of the freshest of the tomatoes and a light drizzle of oil.
For me padron peppers are like the edamame beans of Spanish dining, a must order for nibbling! And these were perfectly cooked with a sprinkle of salt and light drizzle of oil.
A delicious ham selection satisfied meat-loving Mr S and we loved the accompanying bread. A jamon selection seems straightforward enough but I have experienced bad ones…not here though; flavour and texture were just right.
Chargrilled artichokes were a must order for us and two just weren’t enough! A perfect char on the al dente vegetable served with a good puddle of saffron aioli.
Salmon tartare is one of my favourites and we loved the slight Asian touch with a hint of miso as we scooped it on to the lotus roots.
Another winning vegetable dish is the broccolini, a dish served with the perfect balance of citrus from the lemon, spice from the chilli and saltiness from the capers. The broccoli itself had the perfect bite.
Our next dish was a must order, having seen it on my friends’ blogs. The jamon, manchego toastie with quails egg is the epitome of the perfect comfort food whilst still being elegant and refined. Honestly, there’s nothing like a ham and cheese toastie to remind you of childhood…in fact just thinking about it is making me want one now! Each of these dishes have been carefully developed by Head Chef Frankie Van Loo and Jason Atherton in order to reach this perfect level of refinement.
Perfectly prepared line caught squid with chilli and piquillo reminded me of holidays in Majorca with Mr S’s family. Long lunches and gallons of sangria, enjoying huge platters of seafood! Actually I think that’s where our love of Spanish food comes from, not only fantastic flavours but amazing memories.
I liked the unusual sound of chargrilled carrots with burnt aubergine, miso and walnut pesto and I loved the tasty combination of smoky flavours on the plate.
Rib eye steak was aged for twenty-eight day and cooked to perfection. Fortunately, everyone around the table liked their meat very rare and we loved the addition of the chimichurri sauce.
Dessert were toasted marshmallow with lemon curd, mango and passion fruit and white chocolate ice cream, both a fairly light and refreshing way to round off a wonderful lunch.
Perhaps this review comes over a little over-enthused but I honestly couldn’t fault the food at Social Wine and Tapas, nor the relaxed atmosphere.
PIN FOR LATER:
Social Wine & Tapas
39 James Street
020 7993 3257