Sager + Wilde, Paradise Row
250 Paradise Row, E2 9LE
WLC Rank : 239
Cuisine: Wine bar
Glass from : £ 5 (125 ml)
BEST FORFresh pasta and a glass of wine
Summertime cocktails on the terrace
Wines from the USA
The restaurant sequel to Sager + Wilde’s Hackney Road bar occupies well tanked (forgive the pun) railway arches, fronted by a large, lit terrace off the optimistically titled, Paradise Row. ‘This being a restaurant, we wanted a wine selection to go with our Italian-angled food, but also to be enjoyed by itself,’ says operator, Michael Sager.
The restaurant sequel to Sager + Wilde’s Hackney Road bucket list wine bar occupies well tanked (forgive the pun) railway arches, fronted by a large, lit terrace off the optimistically-titled Paradise Row. ‘This being a restaurant, we wanted a wine selection to go with our Italian-angled food, but also to be enjoyed by itself,’ says operator, Michael Sager.
Very good news for adorers of the grape is that paradise may indeed be found here, as well as in Hackney, for mark-ups are capped at £29 per bottle on a list which foregrounds a smart selection from California where Sager lived for several years (including a Napa Ribolla Gialla) and Oregon, as well as France, Iberia, the DACH countries, and further afield, including a Serbian Gamay and an Orange Slovakian. Plentiful museum bottles are available at come hither prices, including, from the early 1980s, Mas de Daumas Gassac, Beaucastel and even a top Montepulciano. Fizz, too, is a priority, with a library of stock by Jacques Selosse.
A nice touch is the credits roll at the end of this list and that of Hackney Road, in which Sager thanks all 57 wine suppliers.
Dishes may include mussels in cider with cavolo nero, pear crème fraîche for brunch, possibly with an Earl Grey ‘Marteani’, or wine friendly smoked cod’s roe, crispy pig’s ears and radishes, then tagliatelle with aged beef ragu and Parmesan, or Cornish monkfish, blood orange, chicory + agretti for dinner.
With this being a considerably more substantial space than the first incarnation, and because of the outside terrace, Sager decided to embrace his former life in the world of cocktails. ‘I was bar director at Milk and Honey, at the time the best bar in the world!’ he told WLC. ‘I therefore partnered up with my close friend, Marcis Dzelzainis (ex Dandelyan and 69 Colebrooke Row) to create one of the world’s most groundbreaking and relevant drinks programmes.’ As a result of drinks such as the olive oil Old Fashioned made with olive oil Bourbon, sandalwood syrup, olive leaf bitters and orange oils, the venue was listed by the World’s 50 Best Bars. ‘We go as far as to distil our own hydrosols for our non-alcoholic beverage section too. We also feature one of the largest Mezcal selections in the U.K. and heaps of interesting other spirits. I always find it sad when the press forget that there is more to a beverage offering than just wine or just cocktails or just beer! For myself, if you don’t try and crush it on every front then you might as well not bother.’
NB. Free corkage on wine applies Sunday and Monday evenings.
By Douglas Blyde