Despite it technically being a very manageable walking distance from my flat, I’ve never eaten in St Johns Wood before. There’s something about crossing the border into NW8 that doesn’t sit right with me. Maida Vale is nice and all, and you do walk by your share of mansions around Warwick Avenue, but St Johns Wood? It’s a whole different world. A world of Kate Moss and Paul McCartney and god knows who else with oodles of money. I’ve just always felt a bit out of place there. But you know, since I’ve wrapped up Maida Vale, I figured it was time to branch out north.
Vineria is a small Northern-style Italian restaurant just off Abbey Road. It’s smartly decorated – lots of white with clean lines and interesting chairs.
The boy was going to be a bit late due to the stupid Jubilee line being down, but the staff weren’t bothered about it at all. They brought me some bread and suggested a glass of wine. Everyone was very pleasant. They had a promotion going on that if you ordered a starter and main, you’d get 50% off the food bill. Starters were around the £9 and mains were anywhere from £14 to £35.
When Leif arrived, we were presented with an amuse bouche of parmesan with balsamic syrup:
Nothing much to say about this one. The cheese wasn’t the best.
To start, the Seared Lamb with Parsnip and Raspberry Vinegar Reduction:
I really liked this. The lamb was perfectly cooked and was offset by the very nice, only lightly sweet raspberry vin.
Now I never get pasta for my meal (too carby – makes me sleepy) , but for some reason I had a craving. Going off of my yummy squid ink gnocchi at Sketch, I went with the Cuttlefish Ink Ravioli stuffed with salmon and served with a fresh clam sauce:
I was a bit so-so on this. It was a bit tepid, and didn’t really have the kind of kick I expected. The salmon filling was dry and the clams completely overcooked. I cleaned my plate, but felt pretty disappointed with the whole thing.
Leif went with Risotto with Gorgonzola cheese and radicchio. We both gasped when the plate was brought to the table:
Have you seen anything look more unappetizing? Didn’t taste great either. No one wants to eat something that looks like it’s been regurgitated. Huge, huge thumbs down.
After our meh mains, we decided to skip dessert. It’s a shame, the meal started out very promising. Coming in at around £48 for two of us with wine, food, discount and service, it was reasonably priced, but if you ever go, stay clear of the pasta.