THE REAL WINE DRINKING GUIDE: Leroy
Leroy happily sprang from the ashes of Michelin-starred London Fields-based Ellory. In spring 2018 the same kitchen and front of house team moved down the road to Shoreditch into their new home which felt more like a Parisian bistro - hence the name change.
The quirky triangular room has 38 seats in the dining area and a further fourteen can perch at the counter overlooking the open kitchen. Vintage bistro chairs come from Alsace and bronze-edged lino tables and wood-panelled walls add to the homely feel. Five sketches by illustrator Louise Sheeran adorn the wall alongside Ellory’s closing party photo, and wine posters from Pierre Breton and Newcomer Wines. We’re in Shoreditch, so know that vinyl music is the food of aural love, all played through Technics 1210’s, vintage Tannoy speakers and a Bozak valve amp.
The food has a rustic French, Italian/Spanish influence, is presented without pretention and is well-seasoned, nourishing and tasty. It is one of the best places to eat in a part of town that already has an embarrassment of gastronomic riches.
The objective of the wine list is to showcase artisan wines with a strong identity, ideally made with minimal intervention. The document itself comprises a page each of sparkling (pet nats and growers’ champagnes), white and red wines, currently totalling around 100 bins. The selection is constantly changing, so frequent revisits are rewarded. One champagne, a rose, a skin contact and five apiece of white and red are featured by the glass. Leroy is also a partner in a winemaking project called Vigneti Tardis – these wines are also sold by the glass. Also worthy of note is the good quality glassware: Leroy uses Spigelau and John Jenkins.
Producers we love: On a changing list Clandestin (Champagne); Erich Andert (Burgenland); Domaine Belluard (Savoie); Matthieu Dumarcher (Rhone); Jolie Laide (Sierra Foothills)
Look out for the lesser-spotted: Ktima Ligas; Gruner Anadjucka from Andert;Labet and Ganevat from Jura. And they are angling so hard for some Richard Leroy that rumours are that they will change their name just to get an allocation.
We really like: Regular winemaker nights. Their first one featured Taras from Ochota Barrels
Do: Find a seat at the bar and check out the kitchen action
Key wine person: Ed Thaw
18 Phipp Street | London EC2A 4NU