Restaurants & Bars


Random Thoughts about Food on a recent trip to London (April 2014)


Restaurants & Bars U.K./Ireland

Random Thoughts about Food on a recent trip to London (April 2014)

zin1953 | | May 9, 2014 11:31 AM

By far, the best meal we had was our dinner at The Harwood Arms. Every dish was a winner (indeed my wife said the lamb was the best she'd ever had, period; the Berkshire pork was delicious!), the wines perfect, and the trek from our hotel in Bloomsbury blissfuly easy (as this was pre-Underground strike).

A close runner-up was our lunch at St. John Bread and Wine. The food was so fresh, at once simply prepared and with such bright intensity of flavor.

Both of these restaurants are places which we are already looking forward to having our next meal upon our return to London -- which might be next year, might be in five years, who knows?

Wright Brothers @ Spitalfields was exactly what you want from a raw bar: great oysters, a bit of bubbly and/or crisp white wine . . . perfect for a quick dozen before we were off to St. John.

sketch for tea was completely unexpected (as we'd never heard of it prior to our trip) and completely wonderful! Highly recommended!

The Museum Tavern is a delightful Victorian pub on Great Russell Street across from the British Museum. In the perfect location for a tourist trap, this was anything but! The fish & chips were perfect -- the world's largest cod fillet was tender, moist, flakey, and not at all greasy; chips and mushy peas were charmingly delicious. The steak & kidney pie was a comfort food classic! The Theakston's Old Peculiar cask ale was a throwback to my days at college in Cambridge . . . some British classics are worth keeping, and, aside from the crowded room of (fellow) tourists, this was neigh on a perfect moment: just what a pub should be.

Two more places to comment upon for dinner:

28-50 Wine Workshop and Kitchen in Marylebone was delicious and fine in every way . . . so, too, was Antidote Wine Bar and Restaurant. HOWEVER, two thoughts:

1) Compared to prices in San Francisco, Antidote was over twice what we'd pay for a meal of comparable food quality and service¹. 28-50, too, was priced a bit steeper than we thought it should be, but had one of the more intriguing wine lists with choices not often seen *and* with a knowledgable wine steward/sommelier at hand.

2) Neither place had that certain "spark" that would make it a "must eat" destination, a la Harwood Arms or St. John.

We'd go back to 28-50 if we were in the neighborhood, but probably to pop in for a glass or two of wine and some hors d'oeuvres rather than a full meal. Antidote . . . probably not.

¹ Now, having said that, maybe the price thing is just what is normal for London, or maybe it's because the dollar is weak against the pound, I don't know. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, so to speak. The price would have been right if it was $XX, but when it's £XX, it's just plain expensive for what you get.

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