17-19 Maddox St, W1S 2QH
The three modern European 28°-50° restaurants (Maddox Street, Marylebone Lane and Fetter Lane) are part of the same group as Texture, the Michelin starred Mayfair Icelandic restaurant helmed by Agnar Sverrisson . But at 28°-50° the emphasis is on the wine offer with over 30 wines available by the glass, carafe or bottle and also in 75ml measures allowing for wine matching without drinking too much.The Maddox Street Wine Workshop and Kitchen is the latest addition to the group and is ideally located for West End shopping or business lunches. We were eating on the ground floor in the dining room which features vintage style lamps and marble tables, but if you’re looking for something more discreet or just want a drink then the downstairs cocktail bar, complete with an open kitchen, is a great choice. In the summer there is the additional option of dining al fresco on the front outdoor terrace. I haven’t been to any of the 28°-50° group for several years now so I was really pleased to be asked to review and find out what they were up to. We kicked things off with the elegant white fruit notes of Champagne Henriot, Souverain, Brut N.V. and some excellent bread and in the first of several Nordic touches, creamy whipped Skyr butter.Sometimes you just want to kick the boat out and the 28°-50° sharing Seafood Platter at £58.50 gives you that opportunity and how! It’s really a meal in itself for two though we were having it as a starter. With 1/2 a Lobster, 300g mussels, 6 Blackwater wild oysters, 6 prawns, 300g clams, crab salad, lemon and shallot vinegar it was a feast of wonderfully fresh seafood. The oysters were deliciously meaty and the prawns were as tasty as any I’ve had. For the quality of the seafood it has to be one of the best deals in London. Our sommelier rather intelligently suggested matching two wines with the seafood. From the Loire the minerality of a Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, L’Innatendu, Jeremy Huchet and Olivier Hodebert 2016 was a great match for the oysters; and our peachy glasses of a Rias Baixas, Albariño, Lagar de Bouza. 2016 Galicia made the lobster sing.And then onto our main courses. Fiona had a meaty confit duck leg with beautifully spiced red cabbage, cranberries and duck sauce. (£19.50). It was a perfect winter’s dish and enhanced by the blackberry flavours of her glass of Southern Portugal Alentejano, Monte das Promessas. Quinta da Boavista.My dish of fresh cod (£18.50) in a nod to Roman Jewish cooking was unusually flavoured with cinnamon, topped with juicy prawns and sat on a bed of nutty barley and a rich bisque. The toasted brioche and caramel notes of the matched Roussillon Corbières, Ollieux Romanis, Cuvée Classique, Le Hameau des Ollieux, 2016 brought out the restrained richness of the dish which I loved. Side dishes of triple cooked chips (£4.50) were properly crisp on the outside whilst fluffy inside and truffled cauliﬂower cheese (£4.50) was a luscious, crunchy, truffled delight. My dessert of frozen Skyr, the Icelandic yoghurt like cheese, lingonbcrries, mint and granola was startlingly fresh and given an acid sweetness by the lingonberries. A honeyed note came from my glass of Germany Mosel Riesling Spätlese, N9, Markus Molitor 2009. Fiona’s hazelnut parfait with vanilla ice cream and chocolate crumb was a more traditional French dessert with the vanilla notes of her glass of Pacherenc du Vic Bihl, Chateau Aydie, 2014 really coming through. 28°-50°’s relationship with Texture is very apparent in the quality of the food and the Nordic slant of some of the dishes. But along with the wine offer 28°-50° creates one of the most convivial atmospheres for eating and drinking well in London. If like me you haven’t been for a few years it is worth revisiting as they have refined their game considerably.As a special offer for champagne fans London Wine Works28°-50° is offering Piper-Heidsieck’s Rare 2002, one of the greatest prestige cuvée Champagnes from the best vintage of the last decade, for £15 for a 125ml flute and £89 for a bottle. Available across all three 28-50 sites (Maddox Street, Marylebone Lane and Fetter Lane), the Piper Rare 2002 is one of the last great Champagnes still available from this sought-after vintage.