Vinny At Six – A Hidden GemWednesday, April 4th, 2018
Since it opened its doors last Autumn, Vinny at Six located in North Square in Dorchester has been offering a warm friendly welcome to their customers. With ever changing food and drinks menus, this independent cocktail bar and restaurant has been wowing people from the word go with their intimate decor, service and flavours. We caught up with general manager Zach Boyd-Paton to find out more about this hidden gem in Dorchester.
What is the history behind your business, and what made you want to open up here in Dorchester?
Vinny at Six is the latest venture from Roland and Helen Harries who also run The Blue Vinny in Puddletown. Looking to branch out, they sort to deliver a unique and different concept in Dorchester. Our Head Chef is Jon Rabbetts who brings a wealth of experience, along with myself who has also previously worked at Pig Hotels. Our aim is to provide a unique experience which is flowing with creativeness through both food and drink.
Describe your business in 3 words?
Relaxed – Educational – Creative
What can people expect when they come on a typical evening / day?
- Great service – going the extra mile as we genuinely care about the products we offer.
- Unique style – we offer such a vast array of spirits that you don’t find behind your typical bar.
- Relaxed atmosphere – mood lighting with candles, dimmed lighting and easy listening music. You can come along and lounge in our chesterfield arm chairs and enjoy our drinks menu or a coffee.
What are the popular items on your drinks menu?
It’s all about gin at the moment, and we haven’t gone short on those. We’ve gone one step further with some unique tonics such as Pedrino. It’s an alcoholic tonic water at 5.5% made from sherry which is unique. We also play around with gins in some great cocktails like using local tea artisan Gilded Teapot, in which we infuse lapsang souchong with Conker Gin for four hours and mix with Fever-Tree ginger ale, angostura bitters and lime juice. We might even set a sugared lime boat on fire but we don’t want to give it all away!
What are the popular items on your dining menu?
We sell a lot of fish, which is very popular in the evening as we have different fish arriving daily. As I write this we have sea trout wrapped in prosciutto ham served with new potatoes, parsley and garlic butter. Something that is to rave about is our Sunday lunches. Jon makes a parsnip puree on the plate, serves rare roast beef or pork, roasted rosemary potatoes, seasonal veg which includes a carrot cooked in star-anise and honey – a must try. And there is of course a Yorkshire pudding and a gravy boat as well.
What qualities do you look for when ordering in new stock for the bar?
Taste. Smell. Flavour. I taste every spirit that goes behind the bar and think about a nostalgic time in my life or a dish that I’ve had in the past and decide what to flavour it with or what foods to pair it with. There are a lot of gimmicks and false selling points from products but to taste the product in person speaks for itself.
Do you have a loyal customer base?
At the moment, we have a great loyal customer base in the evenings which is ever-growing. This is great for us along with brilliant TripAdvisor feedback and word of mouth. However, we have deals on at lunch time such as the current ‘2 course and 3 courses’ offering alongside ‘10% off Food AND Drink’ for NHS Staff, Council workers and Anytime Fitness Members. This is an area that we would urge people to make a trip for. Somewhere at lunch where you can enjoy great coffee, baguettes, main courses and much more.
Aside from running your business, what are some personal hobbies or local activities that you enjoy?
Personally, I’m a huge food and drink enthusiast. I love to travel around and taste new flavours that can help me inspire new drinks for the menu or start discussions with the chefs. I’m an avid rugby player and have played for Dorchester since the age of 6. It’s a club that is close to my heart and something I will continue to support where I can. And then there’s always time to escape to the coast for a spot of paddle boarding and a coffee.
Dorchester now has a variety of options for people to go to for some food and a drink. What do you think makes Vinny at Six stand out from its competition?
At Vinny at Six everything we do is different. We infuse gin, campari, tequila, rum and vodka with in season produce to bring you an unmissable cocktail list that changes with the seasons. Our food menu is smaller and brilliantly presented. We believe in locally sourced produce with chicken from Piddletrenthide, scallops from Portland, mussels from Devon, and meat from the Jurassic Coast. Our spirits are from all over the world, however we have some amazing local vodkas, gins, rums and even cold brewed coffee on offer. You can relax with just a drink and some english style tapas or come and have our full restaurant experience. Our customers also benefit from our bar staff having a huge wealth of knowledge along with years of experience from our kitchen staff.
If you were a customer in your own bar / restaurant, what would you buy?
I would buy something that I haven’t had before. Something like Pisco which is a spirit made from Grapes, essentially the white wine of brandy. It’s a versatile spirit that is brilliant in a classic Pisco Sour from South America. Perfect for sipping whilst in our comfy lounge bar area. Food wise I recommend our mussels, from the River Axe in Devon. Our head chef created a well talked about broth to enjoy, perfect with some chunky chips or rustic grain bread.
Any exciting plans for the future?
We will be expanding our interior to our outside area. We have some brilliant ideas ahead to make this the perfect outside seating arrangement for your coffee or cocktails. Summer can then be enjoyed in our outside at Vinny at Six this year which we are really looking to.
For more information about their current food and drinks menus or to book a table, head to www.vinnyatsix.com