Modern Wine bar in Marylebone
|Octopus, pickled fennel, lemon confit|
When it comes to drinking wine at restaurants, I can be one of the most cost engineering minded person, due to the fact that on trade cost are so much higher than picking up a bottle in retail. Of course, there is the question of the freshness of wine by the glass or ordering a whole bottle but turned out you are not keen with the taste... but haven't got the guts to tell that to the sommelier. Having said that, it could be very rewarding when you are able to pick a good wine to match the food you are having and Blandford Comptoir appear to be a restaurant that is very capable of that, famous for its outstanding wine list and modern Mediterranean cuisine, operated by Xavier Rousset, a renown wine professional and one of the best sommelier in the UK.
|Sicilian red prawn carpaccio, Amalfi lemon oil|
|Courgette flower, goats curd|
To start, we opted for the Sicilian red prawn carpaccio and both the texture and taste was outstanding, blessed with a refreshing sweetness and amplified by the sharpness of the lemon oil. The best dish on the night had to be the seared scallops, it was cooked to perfection, moist, bold in taste and worked in harmony with the nutty parmesan gnocchi which was easily the best gnocchi I have ever encountered in London. Whilst it was not on the same level, the roasted lamb rump had a shiny Mediterranean element written all over it, with the use of peppers, confit tomato and black olive, which all offered depth and robust flavours to the well seasoned lamb. Our sommelier suggested an Austrian wine which had a peppery and earthy tone that matched the lamb pretty expertly.
|Seared scallops, parmesan gnocchi, basil|
|Roasted lamb rump, peppers, confit tomato, black olive, |
herb & balsamic dressing
To sum it up, the cooking at Blandford Comptoir was better than I expected, the dishes were simple but packed with wonderful and rich Mediterranean flavours. The wine list was long but with not a great deal of choices under the £25 mark, however, there were plenty of rare bottles toward the premium end which would get you excited if you were a serious wine lover. The service on the night was decent enough but I did wonder why our waiter enforced the 2 hours table policy when there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant. Apart from that, it was a very enjoyable meal and Blandford Comptoir is definitely one of the better wine bars in London out there that also served good quality level of cooking.
What I paid:
£60pp with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
1 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 3DA