A well-hidden gem on the Blackfriars Road (opposite Southwark tube) is Baltic. A Polish / Eastern-European delight which is part-restaurant, part cocktail-bar and wholly seductive. The bar area is Moroccan-inspired (a bit weird for Poland, but nevermind – it works!) and the restaurant is all white with exposed beams. This is particularly lovely when dining in the afternoon as the skylights drench the dining area in light!
Having eaten here twice in the past, I can highly recommend the cuisine. They serve simple, elegant food – such as gradvalax (dill & vodka-marinated salmon) and duck confit with red cabbage. You can’t go far wrong here…everything is delicious! Anyway, I finally returned last night to try out their extensive range of vodka. OK, so I wasn’t there exclusively to drink vodka, that would be worrying, but it is certainly a recommendation as they serve over 60 different types!
After first sampling the fabulous ‘Brazilian Mule’ (Cachaca, apple juice, ginger beer, angostura bitters) I went back to the bar for round 2. My choice was ‘A Copenhagen‘, but when I told the barman, he looked at me sternly, but with concern and said he really didn’t think that was the drink for me and was I sure? Well this certainly threw the cat amongst the pigeons, how could I choose so wrong?! What was so offensive about this cocktail?
Anyway, he politely informed me that the main spirit (Bols Genever Gin) was a cross between a whisky & gin (which sounds gross) so I reconsidered and asked him to make me something with rhubarb vodka which featured heavily on the menu. What returned to me was a fab vodka and prosecco cocktail with plenty of rhubarb flavours and a few strawberries thrown in for good measure. He was right – this was definitely my cocktail!!
(Baltic Restaurant, 74 Blackfriars Road Greater London SE1)