Despite getting slightly confused by the layout of West Smithfield (as usual) I had a really lovely evening in Cellar Gascon a few nights ago, and must recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a sophisticated tipple and Michelin quality snacks.
Cellar Gascon is the wine-bar little-brother of Club Gascon, Pascal Aussingnac’s Michelin-starred SW-French restaurant next door. They have their fingers in various pies, having recently launched pop-up Duck’n’Roll (a fabulous addition to Street Feast) and also running Comptoir Gascon, Cigalon and Baranis.
The wine bar was relaxed, with couples, some suits and a few small groups making it chilled but busy enough on a Thursday evening. We got cracking with the wine of the week, a delicious Languedoc Cepage Rolle 13, for £27 a bottle. They change them every week and put real effort into sourcing a stellar list, and many are exclusive to Cellar Gascon. This one was soft and fruity, not too heavy and inherently drinkable.
Food followed, and is a menu of small plates to compliment the wines. I loved our gorgeous board of cured meats, a cheeseboard arranged in the order in which you should eat them, and a little bonus at the end of duck pastrami with black garlic aioli. The pastrami was rich and salty, and the aioli packed a punch but without any harshness – I could’ve eaten both all day.
Despite the quality food is reasonable, and they do an express lunch for £6, add £3 for starter, dessert or cheese and £2 for wine. I wish I worked closer.