Anyone up for a plate of black tomatoes?


Replete, the many plates before us empty, further temptation came in the form of tomatoes.

Not just any old tomatoes. Not even the heritage ones that feature at so many restaurants.
Specifically, these were black Iberico tomatoes that were said by the waitress clearing our table to be one of the menu’s highlights.

She was right. As women so often are.
These knobbly-shaped, fleshy-texture and dark-hued things were gloriously flavoured.
Served with a fresh, tangy curd cheese, a scattering of lightly-pickled shallots, roasted almonds and a delicate olive oil, the simplicity of the dish belied its waves of flavour and contrasts of textures.
If the London wine bar and restaurant Terroirs’ essence could be captured on a plate, this was it.

The food

Expect lots of small plates of charcuterie, cheeses and salads, with a few substantial dishes.
The influence is heavily rustic and Italian.

A plate of the spicy Calabrian sausage n’duja came with crostini and was an unfussy plateful with gutsy flavours.
Sea bream was perfectly cooked and came with shrimp butter.
Dishes of mackerel and crab were also applauded.


A platter of charcuterie comprised rich duck rillettes, a proper coarse pork and pistachio terrine and salami.

Burrata was wonderfully creamy and came with the salty sea vegetable monk’s beard and a little of the dried fish roe bottarga which was a little overwhelmed by lemon zest.
A simple green salad of quartered baby gem lettuce came dressed in a zingy custard dressing and a scattering of chervil.

Floating island was a gorgeous dessert – squidgy Italian meringue on runny but powerful custard.
Again, this was a dish that was ordered despite my appetite being sated.

The wines

Terroirs extensive wine list features many oddities and a great number of organic and bio-dynamic wines.
A dry riesling from Catalunia was vibrant and almost peppery of flavour.
A ten-year-old cabernet franc from the Loire value had herbaceous, hedgerow notes.


The decor and service

Think shabby chic.
It has the sort of faded style that you might encounter in a backstreet bistro in Montmartre.
The young staff were unfailingly charming, very knowledgeable and efficient.

Need to know

Expect to pay around £50 a head for lots of food and decent wine.
Cut costs by choosing the lunchtime special for £10, which includes a glass of wine.
There are vegetarian options.
Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Covent Garden tube stations are all nearby.

5 William IV Street, London, WC2N JDW. 0207 036 0660.

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