Fernandez & Wells Wine Bar, London

Fernandez & Wells Wine Bar, London
Fernandez & Wells Wine Bar, LondonJames Fisher

There's no shortage of posh little places to sip rioja in London these days, but the Fernandez & Wells Wine Bar, which opened in 2007 in the Soho district, near where I live, is everything a small neighborhood restaurant should be. It's cozy and welcoming, with a chalkboard out front and a warm glow inside that pours through the big picture window onto Lexington Street. But it's the fine food at this unassuming spot that makes it so special. The menu draws mostly on Spain, but the last time I was there, I had a lovely rabbit rillette and an elegant red wine from Portugal's Douro Valley. Their freshly baked focaccias and baguettes are some of the best I've ever had, and the variety of sandwiches and crostini, made with great ham, aged cheeses, and more, is fantastic. Recently I found out that the same people who run the place have also opened a cafe and an espresso bar in the neighborhood. Lucky me. —Krista Nannery, London, England