Dinner at majordōmo, LA, with nice wines

Jet-lagged as hell, after arriving early evening in LA and then working in the winery until 9 pm, I arrived at Major Dōmo, the talked-about new-ish (summer 2018) opening from New York’s David Chang (Momofuku). Despite my jet-lag, this was a sensational meal. We shared everything, and every morsel I put in my mouth was […]

London restaurants (6) an amazing dinner at Brat with a Loire focus

Had a brilliant dinner at Brat last night. It was my first time, and it was one of the meals of the year.

Our theme was Loire, and we brought our own wine (corkage £20 a bottle, which is very reasonable) as well as ordering one from the list. I spent quite a while with their […]

When is it acceptable to reject a wine in a restaurant? How to manage the 'taste'

There has been a lot of chat on twitter about a food blogger who had a bad experience in a restaurant in Manchester. He began by ordering a bottle of Tondonia Blanco (a stunning, but distinctive white Rioja that I and most of my right-thinking friends adore), and then rejecting it because it wasn’t to […]

Gezellig: a new London restaurant with a strong wine focus

Popped into new restaurant Gezellig yesterday. I’d heard a bit about it before, and it was pointed out to me by a few that this was an omission on my list of venues for London wine lovers.

So I’m happy to report that Gazellig doesn’t disappoint. The name is derived from the Dutch and relates to […]

A day in Portland, eating and drinking well

Portland is one of the USA’s most interesting cities. Famous for its coffee (I’ve had the best coffee in my life here), hipsters, the thriving restaurant scene and craft breweries, this is the place people come to retire at 30 (and it has been famously sent up in the excellent TV series Portlandia (https://www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia). I […]

London for wine lovers: the best places to drink good wine

I keep getting asked by people about places to drink in London, so here, off the top of my head, is a list of places that I can heartily recommend. They are in no particular order (although the first three are pretty much where I’d start), and I apologise to anyone who I’ve missed out […]

London restaurants (5): The Ledbury

I’ve eaten out a lot. And this was one of the very best experiences I have had. The Ledbury has two Michelin stars, but I can’t imagine a restaurant being any better. I’d been before, on a few occasions, but not for a few years (the last trace I can find of a meal here […]

Why are most wine lists so bad? Can anything be done?

Most restaurant wine lists aren’t fit for purpose. They drive me to despair.

Look, I’m a wine professional. I know a bit. But in most restaurants, faced with their list I’m just guessing when I choose a wine. So imagine how it is for normal people? Inspecting the wine list becomes an insane ritual. Choosing wine […]

Dinner at Neolokal, Istanbul

Neolokal is a stunning restaurant. Last night I dined there and had a great experience. It considers itself to be a ‘bridge between the past and the future’, modernising traditions in order to preserve them – ‘presenting dishes from the past in a way that will be accepted in the future.’ This, of course, is hardly […]

In Porto (5) dinner at Esplanada Marisqueira

Alfonso, Vitor and Dirk

The next night it was back to Matosinhos, the Port area of Porto, where the seafood restaurants are congregated. We went to Esplanada Marisqueira, a rather grand establishment, with Vitor Bento, Teresa Bento, Alfonso Bento, Dirk Niepoort and Nina Gruntkowski (Dirk’s wife, who also runs a tea company).

The food here is […]