"A city wine bar with Mediterranean-inspired comfort food"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
There are dozens of wine bars dotted around the square mile which get packed to the rafters during happy hour. You know the ones, where everyone without exception is dressed in a dark suit, becoming progressively lairier as the evening goes on.
Balls Brothers run a chain of city wine bars; their Bury Court branch is a stone’s throw from the Gherkin, in prime expense account land. What sets it apart from the rest? The menu, which veers towards Mediterranean food, and it’s pretty good too. A whole camembert has been baked in its box till gooey, served with toast, chutney and a side salad with Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes. The grilled artichoke with salad turns out to be a dozen artichoke hearts with generous chunks of feta cheese, slices of parmesan, more Kalamata olives (do they have a surplus?) and heaps of green leaves, it’s far more filling than it initially looks. The steak doesn’t fare quite so well, it’s a little on the gristly side but it’s not altogether unpleasant, served with onion rings and chips it’s more pub grub than posh comfort food.
The wine selection is very decent, particularly in terms of Spanish, Italian and French. A robust 2008 St. Emilion is £44, and most of the wines are between £20 and £40. The happy hour means 50% off all drinks between 5 and 8 pm every day, and past this hour the pub seems to become considerably quieter. A meal for two with wine here will set you back about £80.
Leila reviewed Balls Brothers on Tue 16 Aug 2011