Fiona Beckett was impressed by the wines on offer in Cabotte...
Cabotte: The best Burgundy wine list in London
I’m sitting in Cabotte wondering whether the City lunch is not after all a thriving institution. How on earth could you come to this congenial little City bistro without sinking an immoderate amount of wine?
You may be deceived by the ‘short list’ of wines by the glass though that is tempting enough but ask for the main list and you’ll be treated to the best Burgundy list in London.
Cabotte is the brainchild of two master sommeliers; Gearoid Devaney formerly of Tom Aikens and currently also a director of Burgundy specialist Flint Wines, and Xavier Rousset formerly of 28-50 and most recently Blandford Comptoir.
- Read Fiona Beckett’s review of Xavier Rousset’s other new restaurant Blandford Comptoir in Marylebone in the November 2016 issue of Decanter. Subscribe to Decanter here.
The two share a passion for Burgundy – the restaurant is named after the huts that the region’s growers have in their vineyards.
The pair’s aim is to unearth the region’s lesser known gems and serve them at fair prices. You’ll still find some pretty eye-watering four figure bins on the list. But the restaurant presents an unrivalled opportunity to explore the lesser known appellations of the region.
Devaney advises me to try the 2011 Arnaud Ente Aligoté (at £13 a glass) which is remarkably rich and complex, unlike any aligoté I’ve tasted.
The food too is a homage to the Burgundy region: there are oysters, oeufs en meurette and an excellent jambon persillé stuffed with fat chunks of ham.
Dishes such as grilled mullet with poached Maldon oysters and a creamy velouté have obviously been designed to flatter the vast number of white Burgundies. Others such as the roast chicken ‘Gaston Gerard’ with Époisses sauce (not quite enough for this Époisses fan) could swing either way.
So what else did we drink? Well, it was a school night so we restricted ourselves to a couple of other glasses including a charmingly fresh 2012 Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains from Vincent Dureil-Janthial at just £6 then shared the premier Nuits Saint Georges flight at £40 which included a still surprisingly closed ’06 and ’07 from Domaine Gouges and a delicious 2007 Cailles from R Chevillon.
‘We want people to come here thinking ‘I’ll spend £50’ and be tempted to spend £70,’ Gearoid told me with disarming frankness. That’s easy enough. Our bill for two easily hit £177 and that was with a friendly discount from Rousset. (My friend is one of the restaurant’s suppliers.)
If you want to keep your spending under control – and avoid agonies of indecision at the table – I suggest you read the list online before you go.
Cabotte, 48 Gresham Street, EC2V 7AY – just opposite the Guildhall. Note that it’s not open at weekends.
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