It’s not so unusual these days for restaurants to have an upmarket wine by the glass selection but few go as far as the newly opened Galvin La Chapelle which offers a selection of 3 vintages of the iconic Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle.
Not that it comes cheap. A single 175ml glass of the 1994 will set you back £49.
This looks a bargain compared to the £360 you would pay for the full bottle, let alone the £9500 you’d have to shell out for a bottle of the ‘61.
La Chapelle, which is housed in the former church hall of St Botolph’s in Spitalfields, is the latest London opening from Chris and Jeff Galvin.
They also run the award-winning Galvin Bistrot de Luxe and Galvin at Windows in the Hilton Park Lane.
It’s a handsome building with soaring arches with the combined feel of a banking hall and a gentleman’s club – not least because of the number of suits dining there at lunchtime, stiff-backed juniors attentively listening to their bosses.
The food is clearly designed to appeal to the chaps (and Michelin inspectors) too: even my starter salad of red leg partridge with pomegranate and maple dressing was like a meaty main and an unctuously sticky veal cheek and Robuchon-like mash was pure comfort eating.
In an area already well served for restaurants (TV chef John Torode’s new café Luxe has just opened up round the corner) Galvin offers the sort of high end dining that has up to now been thin on the ground in the City. But watch those wine bills.
Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY
+44 (0)20 7299 0400
What to eat: Cote de boeuf, truffle macaroni and Hermitage jus
What to drink: If you can’t run to La Chapelle there’s a good selection of regional French reds sourced by the ubiquitous Caves de Pyrène
Who to take: anyone you might want to borrow money from
The damage? Depends how heavily you hit the wine list. Around £40 without wine though the 3 course prix fixe lunch is a snip at £24
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Written by Fiona Beckett