Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||5-6 Down Street, London W1J 7AQ|
|Tel:||020 7491 3810|
|Price: £41.00||Wine: £18.95||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-11.30pm (Sat 6pm- )|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
For quality and variety of food El Pirata is a shining example of Spanish fare. They have a varied menu – from the ubiquitous chorizo al vino and bravas to have more unusual, but typically rustic latin dishes like fabada and baby eels. The salpicón de mariscos (which, in the few places it is done, is often done badly) was really fresh and is a personal favourite. They also have a decent selection for vegetarians, which can be difficult to find in a tapas restaurant!
The wine list is fantastic, divided by D.O. (region) and really extensive! I really liked the fact that I could get Ondarre (mid priced and nice Tempranillio blend) or splash out and go for a Marques de Murrieta Ygay Reserva! It's tempting to try too many!
The atmosphere is also wonderfully vibrant and the decor is crustily latin, you could imagine a good fiesta happening in El Pirata! The first time I went, we sat downstairs which I recommend – sitting down there you could believe you were in Spain.
The service is where Pirata sometimes falls down. On my first visit the service was excellent – the waiter was friendly, attentive and had a chat (and shared my birthday chocolates with us). The third time I went it was a different story. We arrived at our booked time (9:00) and were told dismissively that our table was not ready so we'd have to wait and were waved in the general direction of the bar. No one offered to serve us a drink on our 20 minute wait. When we finished our food, we still had half a bottle of wine to finish but the waiter asked us if we wanted the bill. When we said ‘not yet’, he waited five minutes before asking again – this time leaning over us. When we said we would like to finish our wine, he said they wanted the table and brought it over anyway (despite us having had to wait 20 minutes to be seated in the first place, and having wine left that we had paid for).
That said, a friend I recommended Pirata to loved it and had good service – so in summary, this is definitely one to try – the atmosphere and food are worth it alone, and most of the time they treat their customers well.