Retan at Renegade Urban Winery | A Two-Month Kitchen Takeover
The Blackhorse Beer Mile is not the first place you’d expect to find a winery.
And a winery in a warehouse at the end of a mile of breweries is not the first place you’d expect to find a reasonably priced, elegant little French fine dining restaurant.
So Retan comes as something of a surprise – and a very welcome one at that.
It’s popping up in the Renegade Urban Winery on Blackhorse Lane for the next two months, and if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, it’s well worth checking out. Head down the row of the monolithic, angular warehouses that make up the gamut of the fabled beer mile, and you’ll see a bright purple neon sign saying ‘Open’ beckoning you on. Inside the winery are all the things a winery ought to have – towering vats standing guard, dozens of fat barrels patiently lining up and waiting to be filled …and overlooking it all is a raised mezzanine decorated with tables, chairs, and a kitchen.
This is where Retan have set up. Just for a little background on the operation, they are Josh Dallaway (a former chef at Sager + Wilde) and Cameron Dewar (a former sommelier at Elliot’s and Elystan Street), a duo who together go by the name of Retan, a supper club that roams around town temporarily turning some of the best restaurants in London – like Peckham Cellars and most recently Louie Louie – into teeny Parisian bistros (at least as far as the food is concerned).
The food they create is a genuinely wonderful array of carefully thought out dishes. They rotate regularly, but you’ll find the likes of buttery roasted cod cheeks; a velvety smooth cauliflower velouté with a kick of smoked oil; a tender Jerusalem artichoke sitting on a bed of ancient grain porridge; some rich ex-dairy Txuleta steak; and a creamy tiramisu punched up with banana. It’s inventive, well executed, and for the price, extremely good value – there’s plat du jour on Wednesdays (a select dish such as a blanquette de poulet, a French veal stew, with a glass of Renegade wine for £16), a roast on Sundays (that’s a ‘Retan take on the Sunday roast’, so expect Tamworth porchetta with potato gratin, braised greens & peppercorn sauce) and a fixed-priced menu (two courses for £28 and three for £33, or £45 for seven) on Thursday-Saturday.
To drink, well, you’re in a winery, so wine makes sense – and as an urban winery, Renegade make their juice with grapes taken from some of the most vaunted small vineyards in England and Europe (you can read about the whole process on their website, here). There’s also cocktails on offer, like an espresso martini and a Champagne & oyster gin martini (made with oyster vermouth).
Handy if you don’t want to do things the way one might expect.
NOTE: Retan will be cooking at Renegade Urban Winery until the end of February 2023. They’ll be there each week from Weds-Sun, and you can book a table here.
Renegade Urban Winery | Unit 7, Lockwood Way, Walthamstow, E17 5RB
Want to make a day of it beforehand? Check out our Walthamstow itinerary
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial