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The Danes have a saying: “Nothing is so bad it isn’t good for something”! On Monday, 9 March at 7:15pm, Leicester Square was eerily quiet. With so many people choosing self-isolation, I thought, “This is like the end of the world...I bet I could get a table anywhere!” In times of crisis, wining and dining seems inappropriate but it offers comfort and a semblance of normalcy. On this dark night, 28o-50o was my silver lining.
The lounge-like feel and subdued lighting suited my other-worldly mood. My guest thought it too dark. I told him he never looked better. Already known as “the place with the pink and blue chairs,” it’s a nice combo of chic and comfy.
All wine grapes are grown between the latitudes 28 and 50. Hence the name and a clue to the concept. The wine list is extensive, with over 30 offered by the glass. The selection ranges from 75ml tasting glasses for as little as £2.75 to a bottle of 1986 Petrus, Pomerol for £2250. Sadly, we didn’t sample the latter. We did however sip Champagne, Viognier, Sancerre, Riesling, Fleurie, Pinot Noir, Montepulciano and 4 dessert wines. My silver lining got shilverer and shilvererer! It’s a real plus of 28o-50o that one can sample a number of wines with, or without breaking the bank. And if you have trouble deciding, the excellent staff will happily offer advice. Head sommelier, Daniel Sanna is both knowledgeable and polished.
The food is largely traditional brasserie fare, however Executive Chef Julien Baris has also added a bit of Asian influence and a selection of vegetarian dishes. Seabass ceviche with ginger, lime, chilli and avocado (£12.95) was the highlight. Well rounded, packed with flavour and a sight to behold. We paired this with one of two American wines that also came out on top. A 2017 Riesling, Chateau Ste Michelle (£8 for 125 ml). This is Washington State’s oldest winery and it is solid. Light, off-dry, with peach and citrus. A good pairing.
Seared scallops (£13.95) were well prepared and nicely balanced with pumpkin purée and toasted pine nuts but overwhelmed by pickled ginger.
Stone bass (£22.95) came with a dark, rich shellfish bisque. Duck confit (£20.95) was tender, tasty and served with fabulous duck fat chips. This paired very well with a 2016 Pinot Noir, La Crema from Monterey (£8.80). Juicy plum and a touch of spice on the finish.
Lemon posset (£8.50) was elevated with an orange gelée and a melt-in-the-mouth sablé biscuit, and cinnamon ice cream added x factor to an apple and rhubarb crumble (£8.50).
My endeavours at the gym are clearly paying off. Monsieur Sanna thought I needed a third dessert and brought a plate of chocolate madeleines with crème Anglaise. He’s my friend! These cookies are trending for a reason!
The restaurant industry provides many silver linings. In the months ahead, we will need them more than ever.