68 and Boston, Soho
When I read that 68 and Boston was the brainchild of three big dogs in the bar world, I worried that it might have a ‘designed by committee’, slightly soulless vibe. I needn’t have worried. Eric Yu (Breakfast Group), Martin Malley (Planet of the Grapes) and Luca Cordiglieri (China Tang) are at the top of their game, and Greek Street’s latest arrival reflects their years of experience and flair for innovation. On entering the foyer you are greeted by a swish chick who ushers you to your table, either in the ground floor wine bar, or the upstairs cocktail bar. The lighting is just-so, the wood is dark and shiny, the glasses are lovely, and maybe I’m ancient saying this, but the music is at a nice low hum!
The ground floor bar menu is an absolute godsend on a first date. Every bottle of wine is priced at £20, carafes at £14 and glasses at £5.50. This means you can be adventurous and order something you wouldn’t usually go for safe in the knowledge you won’t look like an idiot and there won’t be any awkwardness when it comes to the bill. Order a carafe to share, The Paparuda Pinot Grigio was delicious and hails from Transylvania – cue Dracula joke. They also have a selection of very decent prosecco if you’re in the mood for fizz. The cosier cocktail bar upstairs serves up faultless classics and daring originals – such as the Squid Ink Martini, Gin, sherry and…yup. Soak up the booze with a toasted sandwich, N’duja & burrata or halloumi & red pepper.
This really is a game of two halves, start off on the ground floor with a civilised catch up and as the evening draws in head upstairs and hunker down. Let the ‘after-work’ formalities melt away and keep the house punch coming. Make sure you chat to the beautifully attired bar staff, they know their stuff, can advise on the menu and will help you out if conversation is flagging. If you can’t be sustained by toasties alone, escort your date a couple of doors down to the excellent 10 Greek Street for supper, and then around the corner to Ronnie Scott’s. A perfect Soho evening.
I could see this place getting seriously busy, so make sure you book.
3 on the ground floor, rising to a heady 4.5 as you ascend the stairs…