Italian wine bar Bottles launches in Old Spitalfield’s Market
An evening at Bottles (and their partners Sood Kitchen) flows something like the cheeky boon at the end of a tour of a winery. Long family-style hardwood tables, the pots clanging in the open kitchen, the gentle hum of diners easing themselves into a new looseness after a long day. And bottles everywhere, what else?
Nested into the outer layer of Old Spitalfields Market, Bottles still has something of an edge to it, offering modern dishes and a range of organic and high-quality wines (the kind that won’t leave you with a sulphate headache on the tube home) that is vibrant and youthful despite the genre on which they’re building. Highlights are, as might be expected, from the northern Italian reds. A well-rounded Rosso della Motta is robust and reliable without breaking the bank, or head east to the Veneto for a luxury goblet of 2012 Amarone from Terra di Gnierega.
There is salumi in almost carnal abundance, but guests could equally dip sensibly into a plate of asparagus with broad-bean cream and mint or go classic with Spaghetti All’amatriciana with crispy guanciale (cured jowel) and pecorino. It is a smart menu that pays homage to its roots, but rebels a little, too.
Despite the manicured interior, there is a thoroughly Italian vibe to the place that prompts visitors to take their time, in a permissively non-committal sense. You can gorge yourself on cured meats until you begin gesturing in incomprehensible quasi-Italian, or sit in the outside area quietly sipping a drink on a first date. This outdoor space is not totally outdoors, set as it is within the confines of the market itself – more like a less-indoor space, but that’s just fine. The bar strikes at a good midpoint between stylishly unpretentious and feeling fancy enough that one emerges with a memory of a quality evening well spent.
Bottles provides a free space that lets you decide what you want your evening to look like. Maybe it’s the Mediterranean weather we’ve been seeing of late, but it seems to suit Londoners as we find restaurants and bars like this popping up throughout Soho and the East End. As the weather turns greyer into autumn, this may be the place to cling onto the glamour of summer for a while longer.
To book a table at Bottles, 67 Brushfield Street London E1 6AA, call 020 3880 9002 or visit their website here.