The best time to visit Bentley’s is when there’s an ‘r’ in the month: this venerable fish specialist (which opened its doors back in 1916) is a top spot for slurping native oysters and can sell more than a thousand bivalves in a single day. Current incumbent Richard Corrigan is a respecter of tradition, but happily reshapes time-honoured themes – witness ‘exemplary’ lobster and basil macaroni, scallops with clementines or, our favourite, chorizo-stuffed baby squid served with mussels and sauce vierge. Otherwise, indulge in a seamlessly deboned Dover sole or pick your way through the glinting shellfish selection. We’d recommend the boisterous ground-floor bar/brasserie, but for something plusher, head upstairs to the restaurant, where prices are higher and fancy-pants meals take place against a backdrop of William Morris wallpaper. Bentley’s caters for all occasions, and service is very proper, ‘sir’ – although it can become distracted. The comprehensive global wine list also hits the mark for quality.
A lot of good stuff in here. Wines are separated out (wines of the sea/Sauvignon Blanc/honeyed and aromatic), with a mix of stylistic, varietal and regional – and it really works. Loads by the glass, cleverly chosen for the seafood-driven cuisine. Good to see sherries given their own page as well.
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