I have been hearing things about Noble Rot for a few weeks now. As soon as I saw the name, I knew my husband would want to go and give it a try. He’s a huge fan of wine, and a place that names itself after the disease that creates such delicious dessert wines as Sauternes and Tokaji was a place that needed to be tried out. It’s been opened by the same people who make Noble Rot Magazine (if you’re at all familiar with it). I kept trying to find times to go, but since the Christmas holidays were coming up, I wasn’t sure that would happen. We did have plans to see a matinee of Kinky Boots and to have dinner two days before Christmas, so we left a bit early and stopped here for lunch.
If you arrive early and you’re a fan of wine (if you’re coming here, I’d assume you were), there’s an interesting wine shop across the street you can wander through. Ironically, we bought a bottle of Sauternes there.
The venue itself is a bit plain and rustic looking. Apparently, they didn’t do much of a remodel on the place, but are planning on closing for a couple of weeks in January to remodel it the way that they want. So I’m looking forward in seeing what they do with it in the new year.
We had a glass of a very nice Bordeaux while we were deciding what to eat and what other bottle of wine to have with lunch. Since we had Bordeaux, we kept that theme going. For food, we ordered duck hearts with chicory to start and the quail with sprouts, bacon and chestnuts for a main. (There were other things, but we have similar tastes, so we ordered the same thing. We used to try to have different things, but inevitably the one who ordered different than what we both originally wanted would have major food envy, so we just gave up on that and order the same food.)
The duck hearts were amazing. They were perfectly cooked, and I thought they went great with the chicory even if it was a tad bitter (as chicory usually is). It was like eating tiny balls of intense duck flavor. And the bits of orange with it really just elevated the dish to a higher level. The quail was outstanding. Perfectly cooked, and they made amazingly buttery sprouts. I was told I had to try to make mine that good on Christmas. (SPOILER: I didn’t manage to. I don’t think I used enough butter).
We opted to split some cheese for dessert. To go with it, we had a bottle of Banyuls, which is a French sweet, red wine. We were told that it used to be in fashion, but has slowly been losing popularity since, making way for other wines like Maury. We really enjoyed it though (enough that we tried to take a bottle to go, but they don’t have an off license yet), and it also went amazingly with the cheese selection they offered. Oh and the cheeses were really impressive too!
I enjoyed everything about the restaurant. If I had to be nit-picky, it would be that they didn’t decant our bottle of red. It definitely grew in flavor as the wine sat there, and that bit of decanting would have really helped at the begining. But it won’t stop me from coming back. In fact, it may be one of my new favorite wine bars in Central London. It’s quite close to where I work as well, so it will be easy to meet up with friends here for drinks or dinner after work. There’s also a wine bar in the front of the restaurant so if you want to stop in for just wine (and I’m sure I will), it’s perfectly acceptable to do that to.
51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB