Brainchild of Michelin starred Chef Agnar Sverrisson and his partner, Master Sommelier Xavier Rousset of Icelandic restaurant 'Texture', 28°-50° is a welcome addition to the City. Why 28°-50°? Because virtually all of the world’s vineyards are located between the latitudes of 28° and 50°, both northern and southern hemispheres. Combining in-house wine workshops, tasting events and a reputation for accomplished yet unpretentious cookery, 28° and 50° is making waves for many reasons, but for someone like myself who doesn't drink wine, is there anything other than wine to capture my imagination?
I cycled the bumpy path from my office (on one of Boris' Barclays bikes) to 28°-50° for an express lunch with a friend and was immediately surprised at how small and intimate the space was. I had hald expected it to be some kind of sprawling warehouse where throngs of wine enthusiasts would flock to sniff, quaff and spit their way through an entire wine list. A list so unique, that you can try any wine in several different measures; 75ml, 125ml, 250ml or by the bottle; enabling you to try several different wines with your meal and identifying your favourites as you go.
My friend opted for the special lunch set menu of 2 courses at £15.50 which produced fantastic value starting with a salad of vibrant yellow and red beetroot, generously topped with creamy white goat's cheese and crushed pistachios; followed by a main course of pan-fried mackerel accompanied by artichokes and a caper dressing. I was genuinely impressed with the quality and value of the food on the set menu.
I myself opted for the A La Carte menu, which surprisingly did not cost that much more. I began with a superb duck rillette, almost buttery and rich in flavour with succulent shreds of confit'd duck and an accompanying selection of pickles with huge hunks of bread. Heavenly. My main course was even better with pigs cheek and belly pork, crackling, quince, cale and swede 'spaghetti' topped with a wonderful, sweet jus which rounded off the dish nicely.
Not time for dessert as I was on my lunch break, but I was incredibly surprised at how swift and efficient service at 28°-50° was. The food was fantastic, a few slurps of my friends wine choices were also enjoyable and enough to warrant a second visit whenever I next get the chance. Overall 28°-50° is a fantastic destination whether you are city-based or not. Lunch is great, but at dinner you can enjoy the wine list to its full potential, which really isn't such a bad idea now is it?