Review: Vins Restaurant and Wine Bar, Canonbury

Vins in Grosvenor Avenue, Canonbury.

Vins in Grosvenor Avenue, Canonbury. - Credit: Archant

Good service makes or breaks a restaurant.

Vins in Grosvenor Avenue, Canonbury.

Vins in Grosvenor Avenue, Canonbury. - Credit: Archant

You don't want to be fussed over, but having to desperately flag down your bill is a no-no too.

Newish wine bar Vins in Canonbury has it just right. Named after the charming owner and waiter Vinny, I felt instantly relaxed as soon as I walked in.

It's a sultry but a cosy room with more than a hint of hygge - perfect as winter sets in.

As you'd expect, the wine list is pretty appealing and Vinny was happy to talk through the options. We opted for a Plenus Passerina and Stella Luna respectively, and were very pleased with both.

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The food menu might be short but that didn't mean we found it easy to choose six small plates between us.

We initially chose all veggie options by accident, until we were urged to add the simply named 'lamb and onions' - and I'm really glad we did. This dish arrived last but comes to the forefront of my mind - incredibly slow cooked, tender meat with almost caramelised onions.

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Other highlights included the taleggio sandwich (because when is an oozing toastie not a delight) and the fried potatoes and aioli, which were basically fresh crisps made to order - no complaints here.

The simple descriptions throughout the menu meant that the perfect execution of each dish was even more of a delight.

Onto pudding - and more delicious richness.

There was an amusing size difference between the rather diminutive dark chocolate and rum slice and the supersized steamed apple and cinnamon pudding. Once my initial disappointment at the tiny sliver of cake subsided, I fully savoured the intensity of the flavour.

Having rattled through a fair few dishes between us, I would have expected to have felt fuller. This isn't a restaurant to arrive starving to - as I did - but that's not something to hold against it.

Instead, Vinny has created a restaurant which almost feels like going round a friend's house for dinner but with much better food. I'll be back to get more acquainted.

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