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|Address:||140 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1BT|
|Tel:||020 3551 9844|
|Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £47.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-11pm|
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
28-50 is fast becoming my watering hole of choice in the City (run close by the Planet of the Grapes, in Leadenhall Market).
Located at the Fleet Street end of Fetter Lane, 28-50 is a champagne cork's pop from the grande dame of City wine bars: El Vino. It is also streets away from the Rumpole of the Bailey style that pervades at El Vino. There is nothing wrong with El Vino: it knows its clientele, and that clientele knows exactly what it is going to get there; solid food, solid wines, solid atmosphere. 28-50 is different. It is lighter, hasn't been ravaged by the effects of smoke and time, and is designed for a different, more oenophile than dipso, audience.
The bar breaks the golden rule for restaurants and bars everywhere by having an entrance with stairs going straight down. This means that nobody can see the bar from street level, so passing trade is going to be limited. I'm not sure that this is a bad thing, so long as sufficient people know about the place to make sure that it is prospering. It certainly hasn't harmed Fino and, judging by the number of people who found their way through to the high ceilinged, surprisingly light and open, bar on a Tuesday night in the height of summer, it isn't going to be a problem here either.
No, what is going to harm the financial success of 28-50 is going to be the absurd generosity of the owners: £325 may sound a lot for a bottle of wine, but this is the 1989 Mouton Rotshchild. Alain Ducasse (never a man to be backward in pricing) sells this same vintage at £1,490. Retail it is a touch over £300. A mark-up of around 10%; a lot of places could learn from such generosity.
It is not just at the top end of the wine list either: there are 30 or so wines by the glass (and they sensibly do small 75ml tasting glasses as well as more normal 125ml glasses), carafe and bottle. These, when we last went (and they are ever changing), included a Slovenian Sylvaner at £2.80 a glass (not the cheapest offerings, I should add, that award being claimed jointly by a Spanish red and an Italian white (not a Pinot Grigio either) at a mere £1.95), a Sicilian Grillo (no, me neither), Coteaux du Languedoc, a Pinot from the Mornington Peninsula and some serious Meursault and St Emilion Grand Cru. The latter two were the most expensive at a mere £5.45 a glass.
There is food too; nice platters of meats and cheeses, simple starters and mains, but really, this is about the wine.
This place really deserves to do well: it offers great wine, at a great price, in a great underground cellar. I just hope that this latter point (or indeed, two points) doesn't (or don't) cause it to fail.