Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pick n' Mix: Part 1

I've been finding recently that I'm less motivated to update this poor little blog of mine, particularly in regards to restaurants. I suppose it has much to do with the pressure I put on myself in writing about them and a lot of the time I just want to recommend somewhere and direct you there, without all the guff of everything else that fills an entire blog post about it. So I'm trying something new; it might happen weekly, it might happen fortnightly, I guess it depends how often I eat out. There's no theme here, hence 'Pick n' Mix'; just places I went to and I liked. Unless I really didn't like it, and then you'll know about it. 

Quality Chop House 

This place has been slowly gathering momentum, and after a few stonking reviews from proper restaurant critics I suspect getting a table might be pretty tricky soon. Separated into two areas, the bookable main dining room operates a set 4 course menu for £35 while the no-reservations wine bar has a daily-changing menu to choose from. Sea urchin (pictured) were unadulterated, while lamb ribs cooked in mint sauce were crispy, tender and ridiculously addictive. You can rack up a fair old bill in the bar but apparently the wines are very interesting, says those in the know. We drank a very nice Albarino. I think. 

94 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3EA
The Quality Chop House on Urbanspoon

Little Social

I was invited to the preview evening of Jason Atherton's new place, Little Social which is now open proper. He's a busy man this year what with opening up this Parisian-style bistro, as well as the larger Social Eating House later this year in Soho. Oysters from Fowey to start were briny and plump, though my date's slow-cooked egg with butternut squash and parmesan soup overshadowed them, as any slow-cooked egg would do. A cote de boeuf was a beast, served on a wooden board to share - well marbled, well charred and well seasoned, the meat was served with decent peppercorn and bearnaise sauces. Buzzy and bustling, the place will do well - at £15 for steak & frites, it's affordable Atherton cooking. 

5 Pollen Street, MayfairLondonW1S 1ND
Little Social on Urbanspoon

The Drapers Arms

I've written about The Drapers Arms a couple of times before, but mainly in a 'special event' sort of way. I've visited 3 times since Christmas now (which, given it's in North London, is actually pretty frequent for me) and it's quickly become a favourite. Definitely on the gastro side of the pub spectrum, I've had one-on-one's (beautiful and generous poussin dish), girls' night at Valentine's (an enormous steak), and, most recently, a ridiculously delicious veal lasagne (pictured) at leaving drinks. Truly a pub for every occasion. 

44 Barnsbury St.  London, N1 1ER
Drapers Arms on Urbanspoon

Fino's 10th Birthday

I'll admit that I've never visited Fino, but after their 10th birthday lunch they are firmly on my radar. Crab empinadas, braised ox tongue, pigs tails slow cooked with prawns, the above carabineros (red prawns) and the rest of the menu we were treated to were a masterclass in skillful Spanish cookery and careful ingredient sourcing. 

33 Charlotte St, London W1T 1RR
Fino on Urbanspoon


♥PINK DOLLY♥ said...

Have u labeled the sea urchin place correctly? It takes me to the steak house?

Hollow Legs said...

Yup - the link takes you to Quality Chop House's website, which is where I had the sea urchin.

Ed said...

I know the feeling ... this is a great way to share though. And all those are firm favourites of mine - save Little Social, which I'm off to try later today.

Hollow Legs said...

Ed - Thanks! What did you think of Little Social?

Sybaricious said...

I'm in the middle of writing up a post on Little Social but for me it was a real mixed bag. Loved the decor and service, cocktails were fabulous and my tarte tatin was out of this world but my steak, salad and fries were all the saltiest things I have ever tasted, how can a salad be so salty?! Wine list is also really unimaginative. Can't make my mind up if I'd go again! Very tempted by Quality Chop House though...