We have done wine tasting tours here a few years back and were slightly disappointed by the commercial and slightly touristy nature of the tour so were not particularly excited for the dinner spot when our friend suggested it. We had heard from friends that the menu was hefty with big portions so we went having a light lunch.
Anyway we had booked a table at the Cantina which is one of the restaurants in Vinopolis and located under the tunnels. The room is large with the kitchen open at the back with bare brick throughout.
We were welcomed by the receptionist who sat us at the far end of the restaurant on sofa bench and wooden chair opposite. We were quickly given the drinks and food menu but asked to just have a G&T as an aperitif to begin. We liked the fact that they had a large variety of gins and did not immediately assume we wanted the house one which is often the case. The waiter seemed to be itching to get our food and wine choices but we deferred this until a little later as we wanted to chat for a while. This seemed to catch him off guard and he didn’t really seem to know what to do. When we did want to order we couldn’t get hold of him and asked the eastern European waitress instead.
We ordered a bottle of red and chose our selection from the two huge menus. The a la carte and the set menu. The set menu was surprisingly large and varied which surprised us but we did go al a carte in the need only as one of the starters we fancied was not included on the set menu. We really liked this as both menus had variances and although the set menu was of course small it would not have looked out of place as an al a carte menu..
We ordered the burrata with tomato, avocado salad and the crayfish & avocado salad. We had never had burrata before, for those who had not heard of it like us, it is a soft more sophisticated buffalo mozzarella basically. This was simply served with the tomatoes and avocado on toasted bread. Stunning. The crayfish and avocado salad was just as delicious served with plenty of bread this was a very filling starter. The creamy avocado went nicely with the seafood both in terms of taste and texture.
We waited for our starters to go down and then both ordered the wagu beef with spinach, ox tail croquettes, potato fondant that was served with a peppercorn sauce. I ordered mine rare and my friend ordered it medium rare which were cooked perfectly. When I cut into my meat it was bloody and deep red whereas the other medium rare was on the pinker side than red. Again the portion size was the thing that really stood out. We had three pieces of meat, two croquettes and potatoes fondants. The croquettes were very tasty as they were full of dark oaky ox tail rather then potatoes which I first assumed. The potato fondant was more like a traditional croquette which has a crispy outer layer and soft and fluffy inside. The peppercorn sauce was needed for this otherwise dry hearty dish. It was really delicious just a little too much. We declined the dessert option as we were bursting at the seams.
We loved the atmosphere and décor under the arches, the waitresses were polite and although a little keen were professional and well versed. We loved the vast dishes on both menus but would have liked lighter options incorporated in these – if you are going no carb this is not the place for you – as not everyone does want such a large heart meal.
Food Atmosphere Service