Allow me to set the scene if you will. It’s raining, pouring in fact. It’s dark out even though it’s not that late. People are walking past, fast, with places to be. You’re in the middle of the city at home time. But then, like a beacon of light in the distance, you see the warm glow coming from BOTTLES. You go towards it and get pulled inside by the SOOD family, door firmly shut behind you and everything suddenly takes on technicolour.
Italian food & wine aficionados, Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, owners of Bottles & Battles in Mercado Metropolitano have collaborated with SOOD Family to create new wine bar in Spitalfields Market, BOTTLES.
This new space is small enough to feel sexy and intimate but has a fun lively atmosphere – we’d happily have date nights here, or catch up with the girls. We sat around the big communal table running down the middle of the restaurant (but there are smaller tables for two as well if you don’t want to share) and we loved how the whole place is decorated with bottles lining the walls.
The focus at BOTTLES is on quality wines made by independent producers and small farms, showcasing regional and indigenous varieties and often exploring forgotten grapes. While distinctly Italian, the wine list at BOTTLES also has an international flair, and a small but strong selection of fine wines are integrated into the overall impressive offering of around 180 labels to appease even the ultimate oenophile.
Every member of waiting staff is a sommelier in their own right, so they were able to advise the perfect drop to go with what we were ordering and our own personal tastes. Glasses started from a very reasonable £5.50, but we adored the slightly more expensive white burgundy that we had.
Plates are designed to be shared and we began with a portion of the burrata on focaccia, topped with slow roasted cherry tomatoes, parsley, olives and salty anchovies finished with a little lemon zest. Holiday food, comfort food – we loved it. Charred asparagus arrived atop a creamy broad bean puree with a sprinkle of almonds and mint. More substantial dishes included the handmade spaghetti all’ amatriciana – a rich tomato based dish taking its depth of flavour from the crispy guanciale (pork cheek) & a not shy helping of pecorino. The beef fillet was artfully presented with rounds of multi-coloured beetroot and hazelnuts, but you’ll want a side dish if you’re having this as your main.
There was just one dessert on whilst we were there – described as a tiramisu of sorts – the sbagliato (meaning ‘wrong’ or messed up) has layers of sweet apricot jam & creamy goats cheese. Pleasant enough but I think we’d have rather had a traditional tiramisu.
We adored our meal, but you could equally come to BOTTLES and just focus on the wine with a charcuterie board in the background. A great little spot to have up your sleeve for when you find yourself in Shoreditch on a wet and miserable day – it’s sure to turn your evening around.