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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Drake's Tabanco, Fitzrovia

From the owners of Copita and Barrica, this off-Charlotte Street tabanco - a style of tavern dedicated to Jerez de la Frontera’s native drink  - should prosper. A cosy bar - a tight squeeze with high stools - will suit those popping in for post-work snacks of olives and nuts, rillettes, terrines or various sharing boards (from £12) with a glass of chilled dry fino. Prices start at £2.90 for a range produced by internationally acclaimed Bodegas Rey Fernando De Castilla served from the barrel using a traditional cup. Beyond the bar, Drakes opens up into an authentically austere Andalucian-style room with banquette and, to one corner, a second bar with high stools for more casual dining. Top notch, limited release fino en rama works well with a fair seafood platter that has cured sardines, cockles, prawns, slightly soapy salt-cured air-dried tuna loin (mojama), mackerel paté and gravadlax. Rich aged oloroso, the owner’s recommendation, is served with both braised pig cheeks, hazelnuts and potato puree, and rolled lamb breast, lentils and salsa verde from a choice of 6 rustic mains (from £9.50) that also includes octopus chikpea and chorizo, and a white bean veggie stew. Full-on fruity rare old India 20+ years is pudding in its own right but was served here with apple crumble, nuts and hazelnut ice cream, a combo so over-rich, it could sink the eponymous Drake’s Golden Hind - the ship on which the seafaring Elizabethan brought sherry in butts, introducing the tipple to England.
3 Windmill Street W1T 2HY 7637 9388  www.drakestabanco.com