We can’t think of many good reasons to leave the house on a Saturday night when it’s been raining ALL DAY but Vins is certainly one of them.
This atmospheric little neighbourhood joint is in a nice residential bit of Canonbury with seasonal European sharing plates and a banging natural wine list at the heart of what they do. Named after the owner Vinny Burke (who was previously behind Jago in Spitalfields), Vins is a clear labour of love. It was Vin that greeted us with a big smile, Vin who had time for every single person in the intimate but busy dining room & Vin that had us vowing to return.
It’s a cosy kind of space that’s perfect for dates but also has space outside when the suns shining.
Heading up the teeny tiny kitchen is Emil Fyodorov, who was also at Jago with Vinny. The menu changes weekly to reflect seasonal ingredients, but there are a couple of dishes that have proved so popular they’ve had to remain on the menu. One of which is the incredible fried taleggio sandwich. We’d pop in for this and a glass of wine, anytime. There’s also a strong selection of charcuterie and cheese if you’re just popping in for a quick one.
Other highlights for us were the fried potatoes served with aioli. Sort of a hybrid between a proper crisp and a chip, you won’t want to miss them – trust us. Slow-cooked caponata, green pepper croquettes and a comforting bowl of ox cheek goulash on orzo with a vibrant green herby sauce hit the nail on the head.
We tried a banging light red from Austria which was just the right level of funky but we’d recommend letting Vinny suggest something special – there’s lots of exciting stuff to try. As the restaurant’s name suggests, wine is a central pillar of the Vins experience and the wine list showcases the best in small production, artisan, low intervention winemaking from growers promoting biodiversity. And when you inevitably fall in love with it, wines can also be purchased at retail prices to take home with you. Hurrah!
Vins is the kind of neighbourhood bistro and wine bar you can only dream opens up by your house. Lucky Canonbury.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 6-11pm