Bottles opened in Spitalfields in July 2018. It’s a cosy and elegant wine bar that focuses on Italian producers – especially those with organic, biodynamic, independent and sustainable credentials. It was opened by Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, the team who created Bottles & Battles at Mercato Metropolitano, the gorgeous Italian market in Borough. They teamed up with renowned and celebrated Italian pop-up restaurant Sood, which has taken over the kitchen to serve a small menu of seasonal, delicious, ethically and environmentally sound dishes. Sood started in 2016 when Carlo Deho’ and Michele Pompili, formerly a chef at Chiltern Firehouse, joined forces to run pop-ups across east London including successful stints on Broadway Market and Well Street Kitchen. For Sood at Bottles they have teamed up with Nadine Martins Verissimo, formerly of Nuno Mendes’ Taberna do Mercado to carry on making delicious fresh pastas and Italian nibbles. Focusing on wine and food pairings, Bottles brings together the expertise of the two teams to create a relaxed bar-restaurant that is very serious about what it serves.
Bottles has taken over a long, narrow space over two floors in Old Spitalfields, with a small terrace backing into the market building. Tables are shared, with high stools to pull up and lounge on, flanked by wine-stuffed wooden crates, copious bunches of flowers, candles, low-hanging light bulbs, and glass refrigerated cabinets showing off charcuterie and cheese. The lower floor lends itself to private parties and has a great view of the open kitchen. It’s at once intimate and salubrious and a truly pleasant place to spend an evening.
Sood changes its menu depending on what is fresh, good and available. The menu is divided into nibbles and plates and always includes irresistible fresh pasta. The gooey cacio and pepe rice balls are a must-order, as is the burrata in a fresh, zingy tomato elixir. We also ordered rich, creamy tortellini with a well-balanced sharp radicchio and gorgonzola sauce as well as an umami-rich wild-mushroom pasta. Each member of staff at Bottles is a sommelier with sensitive and interesting wine suggestions at hand for every budget and preference. We savoured our recommendation: a deliciously different bottle of vegetal cabernet franc from Piemonte. At Bottles you might want to order the entire menu – and you should! So take enough friends with you to make ordering every dish – along with a few different bottles of wine – effective and sensible.
A meal for two, including a bottle of wine, around £80.
If you are after a casual wine bar with a stellar list and food menu in warm and buzzy surrounds, Bottles ticks every box. Sood’s food has been garnering praise and a loyal following across East London for a while and Bottles provides the perfect location to try it with a great glass of wine.