Chris Leach has been appointed head chef at Sager + Wilde’s newest Bethnal Green restaurant. He has revitalised the now intelligently inventive menu, and the cool, arch-roofed space has been tastefully refurbished. The main selling point here is the wine list - there’s 100 or so to choose from - though the food is also exquisite, as we found out on our latest visit…
Situated on Paradise Row, Sager + Wilde offers a relaxed vibe, fine dining and a drinks list that’ll keep you coming back time and time again. There’s a great range of dining options, from a large outdoor terrace filled with long benches, to a stylish dining hall and a secret upstairs lounge bar where you can swirl a perfectly made Old Fashioned in a vintage armchair.
We headed down on a Thursday evening, greeted by a handsome waiter who offered to take our coats and show us to our table. My dinner date shot me an amused look from behind her polished wine glass as if to say, “Beffnal's changed...”
Until recently the place was known as Mission, but the S + W team have transformed the place with dark wood unclothed tables and mood lighting. The menu is extremely sophisticated, and we spent a few minutes digesting *trying to understand* exactly what was on offer. As the waiter returned with our pinot noir, (which by the way was fantastic), we’d made a decision on a selection of small plates: Devils on Horseback, Smoked Cod’s Roe, Lamb Scrumpet and Cornish Mackerel.
The Devils on Horseback arrived first: warm dates wrapped in crispy, salty bacon. The dates had been roasted for a buttery-soft texture, a beautiful accompaniment to the red wine. Next came the Smoked Cod’s Roe, a creamy, taramasalata-like mousse which was served with crispy potato chunks, and delicious chunks of lamb with meltingly soft centres. Lastly we were served the Cornish Mackerel which was incredibly fresh, partnered with tasty puntarelle.
The food was excellent, imaginatively assembled, fresh and heaving with flavour that really hits the taste buds. But for us the main highlight was the wine. We tried a few of the waiter’s suggestions an each glass was fantastic, reasonably priced and - as wine should be - extremely drinkable. Now that the sun’s peeking out occasionally, the lovely terrace will make the perfect spot to work our way through the rest of the wine list!
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