Robin Gill and his wife Sarah have opened a new bistro and wine bar in Brixton called Bottle + Rye and we can confirm it’s an absolute banger. Located on the edge of Brixton Market and Coldharbour Lane, the pair have carved out a little piece of Paris in south London, with a stellar line up of relaxed bistro dishes and superb natural wines.
There’s just 28 seats in the cosy corner site, which has been very nicely designed with with a beautiful curved bar, classic round wooden stools, patterned tiled floors, and exposed brick walls. There’s a few outdoor tables on the market side too but we reckon it’s better to be inside where the action is.
Front of house is Lewis Wright who has worked with Robin since way back in 2013 and has created a brilliant wine list from some of our favourite suppliers such as Modal Wines. Lewis is a great host and has a well stocked cellar, with a selection mostly sourced from France and Europe but also including a couple of bottles from Renegade in London, which are certainly worth checking out.
We also loved the food menu that Robin has created with head chef Ben Hughes-Gage. We suggest you kick things off with a glass of fizz and the Cantabrian anchovies served on thick slices of buttery honey toast – one of the best dishes on the menu. If we hadn’t been saving room to try other things we would have ordered two more straight away.
But there’s plenty more to get excited about here. Raw scallop with watermelon, plum and lemon verbena is a beautiful light summery dish, as is the tomato salad with grated Ragstone cheese and Kalamata olives – both great options for these sweltering days. Do not miss the smoked eel brandade with pink fir potato crisps (have a lookie here for more eel action), or the grilled red mullet with coco beans and summer ragout either.
It wouldn’t be a wine bar without some charcuterie and cheese and we loved the chunky pig’s head terrine served with baguette and cornichons, as well as the big slice of Caerphilly cheese. We finished with a lovely gooseberry and fig leaf choux ecclair, washed down with one last glass for the road.
With strong Parisian vibes and a great team, Bottle + Rye is already one of our favourite wine bars in London and another hit for Gill & Co.
404-406 Market Row, London, SW9 8LD