Yet another new bar alert, this time a wine bar & cocktail den on Greek Street…
And trust me, you’ll definitely want to hear more about this one before thinking it to be just another Soho boozer.
For a start, there’s the formidable trio at the helm of the new venture – Eric Yu of the Breakfast Group (which own Opium and the Social); Martin Malley, co-founder of the Planet of the Grapes; and Luca Cordiglieri, who many might recognise from his days as manager of the China Tang bar at the Dorchester. AND they’ve brought on Denise Medrano – who also goes by her blogging alias, the Wine Sleuth – to run the wine bar downstairs.
Yes, but why is it different?
Well, the 24-bottle list (ten whites, ten reds, two rosés and two sparkling wines) is priced at a flat £20 per bottle. So there’s really no need to break the bank to experiment with new wines, especially from regions less familiar.
If anything, you’re a bit inclined to take a leap of faith and try a Pinot Grigio from Romania – recently hailed as the New World of wine – or to seek out more rarefied wines from the traditional wine-growing nations. Beaujolais Villages wines from France were a revelation for me, a buoyant and bodied blend with strong fruity undertones of Morello cherry…
I had the chance to chat individually with Martin and Denise at the opening night and could see straight off, that the whole concept has been driven by a desire to make wine less intimidating and more accessible. The hint is in the name actually. There are 67 wine-producing countries and the wine bar is the 68th place where you can go about discovering and experiencing good wines – in a reasonable fashion! The wines showcased will change regularly, so it promises a continual education.
But what about Boston?
Well to find out more, I ventured back with my college crew, heading straight upstairs and into the cocktail lair manned by bartenders in dapper white tuxedos.
Photos of the interiors have been provided by 68 and Boston; from here on, photos from my trusty iPhone make their appearance.
On the more imaginative side, expect offbeat cocktails here that include a Chorizo Old Fashion (featuring chorizo washed Woodford Reserve Bourbon) and a Squid Ink Martini – Tanqueray gin, En Rama Fino and squid ink. Not to mention the quirkily-titled “Nothing Rhymes with Purple” – a beetroot-based concoction of habanero, vodka, Malbec, lime juice and celery syrup, with an egg white for a touch of froth.
Classics and softer cocktails have their place too, such as with the pleasant flavours of “Rose Tinted”, a mix of gin, Solerno, elderflower, lemon, bitters and prosecco…
With service until 1am on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and until 2.30am Thursdays through to Saturdays, 68 and Boston looks like it’s all set to become a regular late night fixture in Soho. We might just see you back there!
68 and Boston, 5 Greek St, London W1D 4DD