Restaurants & Bars: Restaurant Reviews

Shop and Cave Cuvée, Bethnal Green

Wine shop and cave

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This is the second venue for – can we say cult? – wine shop, Top Cuvée, and to us, it’s an instant hit.

The Décor/Vibe
Small and perfectly formed, the exterior has that recognisable ‘ballon’ Cuvée font, and inside, upstairs is a small shop with wine, a couple of stools for clients, and their much-loved merch.

Downstairs is a small dining room – maybe three tables of four, and about the same number of smaller high tables. The lighting is perfect, the kitchen is tucked away so open-ish, and the vibes are sky high. The artwork dotted around is feel-good too, some of which is in Top Cuvée style. These guys have good taste.

The Food and Drink
As Max, one of the owners, is from Three Sheets (otherwise known as a bartender’s bar, which is always a good thing), it’s not just wine here – they have great cocktails too. Start with a mini martini (our favourite kind), and move on to wine. Wines are natural and they know their stuff, so tell them what you want, and we’re sure they’ll select something great. Cold pinots, and an interesting Champagne/cider blend (we’re definitely missing another grape in there – but those were the two we remember) were perfect for a warm Sept night.

The restaurant has a limited but great snacking menu: cod’s roe with crisps, oysters, slabs of parmesan and cured meats; green olives, a type of green bean ratatouille, and beef tartare. They will have guest chef menus soon too.

Highlights
The guys! Max and Brodie bring this space alive, as do their support staff. And of course, the wine. With labels like ‘Let’s go Disco’ and ‘Jumping on a Cable Car to Where Dreams Go’, they know their audience. Fun and exploratory. Mini negroni cans looked great, as did their selection of beers. The music too, was excellent. It’s not easy to make a playlist that keeps a room feeling energetic but not invasive… they did it here. From hip hop to house, and we hear a bit of light techno comes out on some nights, we’ll be back for the grooves, too.

We’ve heard a lot about lockdown winners… and yes, it’s true, some people did well, and Top Cuvée certainly shifted a lot of wine – but these boys are testament that it’s not down to luck. You can tell that hard graft, a great selection, and true passion is behind this lockdown winner. Congrats boys!

Delivery
Want to buy wine instead? Their online shop delivers to London addresses within the hour.

Originally published on
3rd September 2021

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