Tapas and More at The Providores:
There are places which have been on my ‘must visit soon’ list for a LONG time. The Providores, on Marylebone High Street, has been there seemingly for ever and although I’ve popped in from time to time for wine tasting, a coffee or a quick glass of wine, I’ve never actually had the chance to eat from the menu. An invitation to join a group of food writers and bloggers for supper was a perfect excuse to right that wrong.
The Providores prides itself on the largest selection of New Zealand wines of any restaurant in Europe. But I believe this event was a little more focussed on the food…or at least that is what I was concentrating on.
We started with a whole range of dishes from the Tapa Room.
There was a selection of Tapa – chorizo, chillies, olives, grilled artichoke, baba ganoush and Ducket’s Caerphilly to nibble on while we waited for more food to appear
I think the seared tuna, which arrived with papaya, carrot and cucumber salad and toasted nori sauce was a favourite with everyone
And of course perfectly cooked sichuan pepper coated baby squid, with sauce gribiche.
Even I liked the tortilla, strangely coloured by purple potatoes and baby beets
Salad was a refreshing interlude which might almost have tipped the balance of the evening in favour of my failing diet
But then of course there were chorizo croquettes which came with a tangy goats cheese pesto.
Abandoning all idea of dieting, I moved on to a main course of Beef Pesto – which is listed on the menu as ‘the Sugar Club Classic’. Rightly so, I’d be sorely tempted to order this again when I return.
Although looking at some of the other main course options I might struggle.
Particularly this, which I think was the twice cooke sweet and sour Dingley Dell pork belly with garam masal spiced butternut filled dosa
It’s hard to imagine that we were still in line for desserts…and pre-desserts of cross town doughnuts.
We were all still eating though…and managed to devour a whole range of different desserts.
Too busy eating, I didn’t note the perfectly matched wines through the meal…but I do have a copy of the Providores wine list in my possession now, an education in itself. And, I think it gives me the perfect excuse to return soon. Ten wine regions to explore and a whole range of wines to sample from each. There’s a short selection of wines by the glass or 400ml carafe and a very comprehensive selection by the bottle, with prices upward of £25.
Providores is somewhere to go and relax. The food is unquestionably excellent, the restaurant feels unpretentious and the wine list is remarkable. Why wouldn’t I want to go back? the only question is when can I find a good excuse to do so!
The Providores and Tapa Room
109 Marylebone High Street
London W1U 4RX