Paddo Inn launched a new pop-up during Negroni Week called Rina’s Bar, which is serving Italian wine, cocktails and antipasto until October 14.
Drinks Digest stepped off Oxford Street and into Rina’s Bar through its dedicated entrance this week and was swept into a cosy bar filled with friendly staff and delicious food and drink menus.
The concept of Rina’s Bar sprang from the bartenders’ memories of Italian small bars and offers drinks with house-made ingredients, paired with warm hospitality.
It’s a combination that has attracted a broad spectrum of customers. During our visit everyone from young couples to groups of middle=aged Negroni fans were drawn to the welcoming space.
The bar has partnered with Campari to create an aperitivo and cocktail list, which includes an Imperial Americano made of Campari, house amber vermouth, and mandarin and yuzu soda, or sip on an Amaro Colada, featuring Braulio Amaro, salted coconut and pineapple.
But we couldn’t resist trying the House Negroni with Bombay Sapphire, Campari, 1757 Rosso and clarified raspberry. The addition of raspberry was inspired and took the edge off the bitterness of the drink. Bellissimo!
The wine list pays homage to some of Italy’s most famed varietals, including a Tuscan Chianti and a Bruno Barolo from Piedmont. We tried the NV Bianca Vigna Prosecco Rose, which was a very moreish drop!
It wouldn’t be a Roman wine bar without a tasty selection of antipasto. The selection includes fried Tomino cheese with beetroot puree and Cantabrian anchovies with house-made focaccia and lemon butter. We tried the tuna carpaccio with salsa tonnata and fried capers, which was an exquisite flavour bomb; plus a bowl of plump olives and a salumi misti featuring Parma prosciutto, mortadella, fennel salami and parmigiano reggiano.
Our evening ended with a delicious frozen house Limonello shot and happy faces as we bid farewell to the bar staff and wandered into the night.
We’ve vowed to return soon, especially after noticing that our all-time favourite Italian restaurant, Il Baretto, is preparing the bar menu at the Paddo Inn, including its iconic Gnocchi Gorgonzola.
Rina’s Bar opened on September 20 and will run until October 14, with bookings and walk-ins available.
Photography: Dani Braude