SquareMeal Review of
Social Wine & Tapas
It might feel like London is full of Jason Atherton’s Socials, but James Street was sorely in need of a restaurant that prizes quality as well as conviviality, and this is it. Customers enter through a wine shop and tasting area dedicated to executive sommelier Laure Patry’s eagle-eyed finds, then head down to the cellar bar where wine is everywhere – even, via a recorded soundtrack, in the toilets. It’s dark and masculine, but service is warm, and the food is a mixture of trad tapas and elevated ideas. Creamy piquillo croquetas and sweet, oily pan con tomate are difficult to beat, though crispy duck egg with artichoke and grated truffle comes close. Readers also recommend the “awesome” lamb fillet with char-grilled celeriac, cucumber and yoghurt, “genuinely mouth-watering” char-grilled broccolini with chilli, pear and air-dried tuna shavings, and the crisp-crunchy Szechuan-fried chipirones with togarashi and squid ink aïoli. Puddings run from elegant to nostalgic – a cornet of soft-serve salted caramel ice cream with butterscotch sauce, for example. Fans (ourselves included) “can’t wait to go back”.
Social Wine & Tapas is recommended for