REVIEW: Barrington’s Wine Bar & Lounge, Leicester
|Barringtons; New Walk, Leicester|
Edit: NOW CLOSED. The White Peacock is now open here instead…
Those of you who have been following my blog will have seen that this weekend the Boy and I were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, and now my waistline is paying the price. One of the main reasons for this was the tasty anniversary dinner we had at Barrington’s Wine Bar and Lounge, on New Walk, Leicester.
After a discussion on Twitter, they very kindly offered to treat us to dinner so I could write a review, on the proviso that we bought our own drinks. I couldn’t argue with that, so in we went.
The decor in the bar is really simple and classic. There is a good deal of dark wood and clean lines and the furniture is of a good quality. The colour scheme is deep and earthy, with rich greens and purples. It’s quite reminiscient of Henry’s Champagne Bar (for those who remember it) in some ways, although not quite as intimate.
There are lots of framed portraits of comedians around the place, especially Carry On stars that I noticed, which I thought was a nice, slightly quirky touch giving an indication of the owner’s personality. When we arrived, in the ‘after work on a Friday’ period, there were a big group of people in clearly on a work drink and other couples came and went. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, but I thought it was a real shame that it had nowhere near the popularity that the nearby mass chain, the Slug and Lettuce has on a Friday night. It’s clear from the vibe that they are aiming for similar audiences. I wonder if perhaps Barrington’s should be offering special discounts to Leicester City Council staff to draw that crowd over from the Towers just across the road? This is such a cute little independent place that it should definitely have a bigger crowd than the Slag and Fetish!
They have a decent enough wine selection, as you would expect for somewhere that describes itself as a Wine Bar! The Happy Hour offer includes buy two large glasses of wine and get the rest of the bottle free, so we plumped for a nice 2011 Five Foot Track Shiraz. This was labelled as ‘South East Australian’ – it’s been a while since I had a bottle of wine which didn’t narrow it down a bit more than that, but no matter! It was very fruity, with simple cherry/soft fruit flavours and a very slight creamy finish. It was much more of a medium bodied red than I prefer, but I definitely enjoyed it – it was a smooth drink! I would have preferred a bigger wine glass though, so I could slosh in about and get my nose right in! All part of the experience if you ask me.
To start, our lovely host, Jamie recommended the nachos to share. At £4.95, this is more than a decent portion and about a million times better than nachos we had in a pub recently with crispy, over microwaved chips all in a big block!! Barrington’s nachos came with fresh chopped jalapenos, which were delicious and not overly spicy, sour cream with a dash of paprika and a fresh salsa made of tomatoes and white onion and possibly a dash of garlic. There was also a pot of very tasty beef chilli (vegetarian option available) and a good helping of gooey, but not plastic cheese! They were very tasty indeed as well as well presented and our only complaint was that we were fighting over the chilli (I know, on our 10th anniversary!) so a slightly larger serving would have been appreciated.
A great start, but the main was the real challenge. After our American Adventure, the Boy was gasping for his first English burger to compare with the feasts he experienced on holiday… Therefore, he had to go for the Texas Tower Burger, at just under £10, which had two massive, fresh made beef patties, topped with cheese, jalapenos, onion, tomato and lettuce. It was huge, just as huge as it’s American rivals! He deemed it delicious, although it did kind of fall apart and he had to eat it with a knife and fork. And he still managed to get it all over the table. Once again, on Jamie’s recommendation, I got the chicken breast, mozzerella and pesto burger. This was a moist chicken breast fillet in a bun. The mozzerella was light and the pesto was a lovely combination. It was a shame that they normally make their own pesto, but not the day we visited (basil shortage at Leicester Market?) but I totally enjoyed it anyway. Personally, I would prefer the iceberg lettuce shredded as well, just because that would have been easier to eat.