cheap but memorable [London]
Absolutely loads, could you be a bit more specific? Especially in terms of location, food you like and budget?
Broadly speaking, some of the best cheap finds I've made are the lunchtime prix fixe menus, especially around the West End. Though I note you're after dinner advice.
Presumably your happy to bring the conversation? Though I do like chatty waiters, most of them have limits as to how long they can spend with you.
Hi -- thanks for replies! Samuelinthekitchen you're funny. I'm actually dining with my life-sized blow up doll. Really, really great listener. Anyway. Location -- I'm happy to travel anywhere in London, though I am staying in the West End. Budget, like perhaps 100 pounds or less for 2 people, and food -- anything -- though maybe staying away from Asian, unless it's truly inspired. I like fresh, farmer's market type ingredients and I am really into organic wine, or rather wine that has a minimum of additional sulfites. Any ideas? Thanks!!
in terms of wine and food, then Vinoteca in Farringdon immediately would suggest itself, or Terroirs in the West End as a backup, both these would certainly be able to offer you a heap of organic and bio-dynamic wines alongside food made from, as you say, fresh, farmer's market type ingredients. I personally found nothing wrong with Terroirs, but nothing that great either, and if wanting to stay in the West End would make a beeline for Great Queen Street, which is (I think, though I know many others share my opinion) better, cheaper and more generous, just without such a voluminous wine list, though I do remember them having a couple of bio-dynamic french numbers. Vinoteca as I said would be my first choice, but it's tiny, and last time I was there it was packed. GQS is bigger. If you're at the bar you can stay as long as you like whereas the tables normally get turned, but if you get a later sitting you can linger till closing.
That's a seriously vague brief but here are some places to consider:
-Salt Yard, Goodge Street - Excellent tapas and wines by the glass. Busy, so book.
-Giaconda Dining Room - Just off Tottenham Court Road, lovely modern bistro.
- Zucca - This new Italian near Borough Market is getting great reviews.
- Goodman - Great for steak / burgers. Dine early or mid-week, it gets a bit loud.
If you fancy fine dining, Ramsay's recently reopened Petrus does a £25 set lunch and Bistro Bruno Loubet in Clerkenwell is also new-ish and good for gutsy French food.
Enjoy your trip!
Oh you'll have no trouble if that's your budget, there's loads. I recently visited Terriors Wine Bar in Central London (http://www.terroirswinebar.com/index.htm) and thought it was lovely.
Really nice affordable French menu and a gorgeous wine list. From meory a couple of plates and a glass of wine each was about £25 and the staff were really nice.
I bang on about it constantly to anyone who'll listen if that's any type of reccomendation.