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Dion (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Dion in City of London, London

Paternoster House, 65 St Pauls Churchyard, St Paul's, City of London, London, EC4M 8AB
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: 020 7248 8880 | Email to Dion | Transport: St. Pauls | Write review

Dion Review

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Wine bars in the City should know what they are about: plenty of hardwood veneer on the furniture, glass and gleaming chrome for the verticals; mildly braying punters, full of swagger and snorted energy; a random selection of aggressively-chilled bottled beers from far-off parts where deflation is rampant or emerging markets funds are showing c.36% CAGR; handsomely marked-up grande marque champagnes in a variety of formats, reflecting Old Testament royal families; hi-mounted TVs screening the sporting season; and, of course, some after-thought grub (underdone chips, wet lettuce salads, bought-in sushi, wrinkled pinky sausages & oversweet mustard sauce) to soak up the booze.

So what’s going on at Dion? Whilst it covers the design requirements with ease and the committed-working/committed-drinking clientele cram the place in the evenings (right up to 2am in the latter half of the week), Dion – eccentrically – really cares about the food it serves. And with the two-course fixed menu at only £12.50, represents exceptional value too.

Apparently the Greek salad has been through four incarnations in as many months. Whilst the chef might be accused of indecision, it would be churlish to do so when the result is so good. Not vaut-le-voyage good – it’s only Greek salad, after all – but unquestionably the best we’ve had: the feta has no attitude problems, the olives taste of olive, the cucumber fresh, the tomatoes ripe and the herb seasoning well-judged.

It’s not the only good starter. The whitebait have minimalist flouring and come with an excellent tartare sauce, made on the premises. Two bum notes temper the enthusiasm: under-ripe avocado with the prawns and rocket; and the top-notch Serrano ham and buffalo mozzarella is paired with an unseasonal fig – this one was OK but expect inconsistency until September.

The mains are consistently well executed. Crisp, light batter round the haddock, with silver medal chips and more of that excellent tartare; sirloin steak with flavour – and chips and peppercorn sauce; generous to a fault fishcakes, where flakier salmon and a bit more potato in the mix might actually improve the texture, and a buttery sauce.

Service is excellent. A good chunk of the eclectic staff has been with the Dion group since its inception. They know their products and their customers and they look after them well. The owner, Jo, used to work in insurance but has taken to running city bars like a duck to a crispy roll.

The champagne selection lacks imagination but the mark-ups are not unreasonable. For those that fancy the Krug 1995 (who doesn’t? Unless the ’85, ‘96 or, on a summery day, that great picnic vintage ’90 are available) shelling out £225 is fair enough. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s an array of wines under £30 with several available by the glass. The Chablis 2008 from Simonnet-Ferbvre and Malbec 2008 from Alamos made serviceable companions for what we ate.

There is much pride in the cocktail list with the barman frequently refreshing the offer. The vodka-based Strawberry Mint Chill is already popular and it’s going to get more so whenever the sun is out. And Dion has a point of view on beer viz “best of Europe” (so nothing Greek in this section for the financial literate City types, obviously.) Pity it’s only in bottles.

After all this on the ground floor, the much-hyped Krug Room downstairs comes as something of a disappointment. A nice enough room as subterranean rooms go – in terms of airport lounges, think first class rather than club. But where’s the Krug? Or the even the photos of the Krug? Or the menus incorporating Krug? (Our recommendation: BYO Krug paraphernalia.)
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Customer Reviews for Dion

Average (based on 7 votes): 7 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Dion.

“The classiest bar in the city! Nice decor, great wine and bar food. Amazing live music, you just can't go wrong at this place! ”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Corrie Bridge, London (10 years 9 days ago)

“The live band at dion on Wednesday nights really makes this bar a regular night out in my diary - I'm a huge music lover and this is some of the best I have heard on any stage! Great to see a bar in London supporting great quality live music - well done dion!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Paul, London (10 years 3 months 24 days ago)

“Nice place by St. Paul's. Nice wine list. Best thing about this place is the superb live band on Wedensday nights.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
sadie, London (11 years 2 months 8 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Dion

“I was charged £14.50 for a very small glass of house red and an unpallatable glass of house white wine. Barman was extremely rude when I queried the bill. I will not be returning and would not recommend. A hideous wine drinking experience all in all.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
aoife, dublin (11 years 2 months 26 days ago)

“Great relaxed atmosphere. The staff super friendly and always go out of thier way to help.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Naveed, London (11 years 5 months 1 days ago)

“Very classy - loved the champagne and champagne cocktails! The live jazz was superb and the bar had lovely finishing touches and attention to detail.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Chante Fleming, Wellington (12 years 1 months 29 days ago)

“Good new bar right by St Paul's. Light food menu, quickly served in clean and comfortable surroundings. Interesting wine list with acceptably priced items that are worth drinking. Clean and modern atmosphere. Service keen but falls a bit short at times, however everyone seemed to be trying hard. Major positive is the outside seating on a pleasant day. Will revisit. ”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Brian Lawson, Richmond (12 years 3 months 1 days ago)

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Additional Information

Dion Food & Drinks

Dion Food Menu

We serve a selection of hot and cold food all day.

Updated 10/12/2010

Item Description Price
Sandwiches (served on granary bread) Crab & Prawn Mayonnaise, Crayfish & Rocket, Ham & Emmental, Stilton & Bacon, Smoked salmon lemon & pepper, Rare roast beef, onion and horseradish £ 5.95
Fillet Steak Sandwich (french bread) £ 9.50
Home made Cottage pie £ 8.95
Trio of lamb cutlets served with thick chips £ 9.50
Crispy duck wrap (in Chinese pancake) £ 6.50
Sushi (12 assorted pieces including, tuna, salmon and prawns) £ 14.75
Fig, serrano ham and mozzarella salad (with warm ciabatta) £ 8.95
Warm chicken liver salad £ 6.95
Nicoise salad with seared tuna steak £ 9.95
Caesar salad with chicken or crispy bacon & croutons £ 8.95

Dion Drinks Menu

We serve fine champagne, wine, beers and spirits. Our cocktail manager will also be happy to mix you one of dion's finest cocktails!

Updated 13/06/2005

Item Description Price
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label £ 55.00
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 1998 £ 75.00
Dom Perignon 1996 £ 135.00
Krug Grand Cuvee £ 140.00
Krug Clos de Mesnil 1992 £ 450.00
White Wine - BordeauxBaron de Luze Blanc, 2003 £ 22.50
Chablis Etienne Boileau, 2004 £ 28.50
Sancerre Roc de l'Abbaye, Mollet, 2004 £ 30.00
Riesling Cuvee Sainte Catherine, Domaine Weinbach, 1999 £ 49.00
Pinot Grigio Collio Villa Russiz, 2003 £ 34.00
Terrasola Chardonnay Garnacha Blanca Jean Leon, Catalunya, 2003 £ 21.00
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Chardonnay, 2002 £ 56.00
Red Wine : Chateau Lacaussade Saint Martin Rouge, 2000 £ 28.50
Chateau Laforge, Grand Gru St. Emilion, 2000 £ 150.00
Nuits-St.-Georges "Vaucrains" Domaine Robert Chevillon, 2000 £ 55.00
Crozes Hermitage Chapoutier, 2001 £ 34.50
Chianti Classico, Villa Caffaggio, 2002 £ 27.00
Pesquera Crianza, 2000 £ 35.00
Colina Negra Cabernet Sauvignon/Laroche/Coderch, 2003 £ 24.00
Huia Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2003 £ 35.00
MadFish Pinot Noir, Western Australia, 2003 £ 21.50
Bottled Beers £ 3.50
Spirits - Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Whisky, Bourbon, Malt whisky, Cognac & Calvados All individually priced £ 5.75

Events and other great things going on at Dion

Our resident band the JazzFM Allstars play every Wednesday evening till late.

Updated 09/08/2005

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Venue ID: 18350

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