11 months ago

Visit Red Vine for comforting British dining and an incredible drinks list

There’s a new restaurant on the block in Clapham. Go to Red Vine for comforting, family food and an incredible drinks menu.

Red Vine is the latest restaurant on the block for Clapham. It’s moved into its location (where Metro used to be) on Clapham Common Southside and officially opened its doors just a week ago. It’s all about seasonal British plates, Sunday roasts and a really good cocktail menu. Of course- as the name suggests- there’s a big focus on the wines too. In fact the manager, Richard, comes from a family of Welsh winemakers; his dad started Penarth Vineyard in the rolling hills of Church Stoke and made a real success out of the venture. You’ll be able to try the sparkling wines and brandy that they produce at Red Vine- they’re amongst a very impressive selection of bottles.

Of course we couldn’t wait to check out our new neighbour. We headed down to see what Red Vine is all about. The interior is really charming- cosy booths, blue painted stone walls and lots of exposed beams give it a relaxed, homely feel. There’s an old Mediterranean influence that’s clear in both the interior as well as the menu, and as we were being shown to our table we noticed different poems displayed in each corner of the room, all chosen to reflect mood of that table. They are picked by the owners girlfriend who changes them every month. There’s clearly a good dollop of family-focus and history that’s gone into the design, and the result is very lovely.

Whilst browsing the menu we had a glass of the refreshing Penarth Vineyard pink sparkling – what else! It’s a light, bright wine and tasted even better knowing that there was so much family history to the glass. Though Red Vine is a wine focused place they have 4 house cocktails. If you can handle spice, the Spicy Aperol Paloma was our favourite, but if not then the sweeter peach and lime margarita was a lovely twist on the usual. They were both joined by some tasty nibbles to start. Some bites of cheesy ham hock croquettes (and they really didn’t skip on the cheese) were our favourite: golden and crispy, gooey in the middle- exactly what you want from a croquette. We also tried a plate of their homemade sausage rolls. The mustard-spiked mayo that came with these was a real elevation to a usual sausage roll, a punchy addition that made the ‘nibble’ addictive and comforting all at the same time.

Moving onto the starters we have the citrusy smoked salmon which was a light way to kick things off, it came on some fragrant dill cucumber with creme fraîche which made it really satisfying. The duck and pork liver parfait was a big winner for us. The tomato jam that it’s served with is heavenly, and a big must order in our opinion. For the main course we tried the ratatouille which was sweetly presented in a dinky pot. Though ratatouille can get a bit of a bad rep, this one was fantastic. Very rich and tasty. The grilled Atlantic cod was paired with samphire and a red pepper sauce which made for a really delicious mouthful too, and the recommended wine pairing of the smooth pinot noir went well with both dishes. The servers here know exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to drinks pairing and you should absolutely trust their judgement- they didn’t miss for our meal!

Because we simply couldnt choose between the pud options, we had a whopping four deserts to finish. A rich chocolate fondant, a zesty hummingbird cake, a classically made apple tarte tatin and- our favourite- the crostata al limone. This was creamy, summery and ideal to share between two after all the other courses! We had it paired with the owner’s dad’s favourite Muscat wine (another hint of that familial feel that runs throughout Red Vine) and it was a gorgeous way to end the evening.

The wine and cocktail selection of this place is pull enough to return. The staff and owner know what they are talking about when it comes to all those drink pairings and we appreciated their knowledge for each dish we ordered. The general vibe of the place is so cosy and welcoming that it would be a great spot to take a date or when you’re after a long catch up with a friend.

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