A Recipe for Suc­cess

Where London - - Dining -

So­phie’s Steak­house & Bar is the place to go for a meal to re­mem­ber. Sam Rogg vis­its the res­tau­rant and dis­cov­ers how it has been rais­ing the steaks for more than 10 years


au­thor Robert Louis Steven­son dur­ing his hon­ey­moon in Napa Val­ley more than 100 years ago. It’s a beau­ti­ful sen­ti­ment, but one that’s hard to grasp for many of us who opt for the safe va­ri­etals and re­gions we’ve tried be­fore. Hardly the stuff of po­etry, but then choos­ing the right wine to suit your palate is not just a skill, it’s an art. Just ask the staff at So­cial Wine & Ta­pas, a new bar and res­tau­rant where the wait­ers are som­me­liers and rare wines are ac­ces­si­bly priced.

So­cial Wine & Ta­pas is a wine shop and a ta­pas bar (you have to or­der at least some food with any drink). Set over two floors, the space is a maze of raised and sunken lev­els with two wine-tast­ing ar­eas, in­ti­mate ta­bles and counter seats by an open kitchen.

French som­me­lier Laure Pa­try and Jason Ather­ton cham­pion small grow­ers around the world. The wine list looks like a small brief­case and a Co­ravin sys­tem en­ables wines to be poured by the glass with­out pulling the cork. Frankie Van Loo and Ather­ton’s menu is just as flaw­less as the wines. The heir­loom tomato salad with bur­rata de­serves a cheese-lov­ing Poul­sard Côte de Feule, Do­maine Hughes Beguet 2012. The pep­per of a Pinot Noir Mac Forbes 2013 needs the salt of char­grilled car­rots, miso and burnt aubergine. Ev­ery wine is avail­able from the shop to take home, and with so much choice, you’ll be glad of the som­me­liers who are sure to bring out the poet in you. 39 James St, W1U 1DL. T: 020-7993 3257. www.so­cial­wine­and­ta­pas.com

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