Sorrel is a brand new restaurant with a prime location a stone's throw from the Gherkin in Aldgate. The small upstairs cocktail bar should draw in the city crowd and there's a tempting bar menu... but the real food is served in the basement dining room, which offers an impressive wine list and a modern European menu with an Italian accent. This place should be a real hit with the after work crowd but it's well worth popping over to Aldgate for.
Head chef Benjamin Tish is a whiz with his vegetables. My friend's tempura asparagus starters with ricotta cheese were superb, and an unremarkable swordfish carpaccio was elevated by the addition of some deliciously crisp and sugary French beans. Her truffled linguine to follow was excellent, a shade less daring than some we have had, but pleasantly rich and indulgent. My lamb was perfectly cooked and obviously well sourced, although the gravy was unimaginative, nay boring, and the plate was saved by some hand rolled cheese gnocchi.
Our friendly waitress steered me expertly to a Pinot Gris from the Kimberly Estate in New Zealand, a very good choice from a long, fairly priced list. Service was excellent, well up to the exacting standards of the city crowd, and the ambiance was enhanced by some great piped music, at just the right level.
Altogether this is a slick operation with a great location and should find many customers, especially given the affordable prices and a kitchen with verve. Check it out.
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