After a slightly disappointing lunch I decided to try somewhere completely new for a family dinner in the evening. I’d heard encouraging things about La Fabrica from friends so had been keen to try it out for a while. Stroud Green Road has a lot of good restaurants and so it’s easy to just go back to somewhere reliable; say Petek, Exeter Street Bakery or Season. I think La Fabrica offers a significant step up and unlike those previously mentioned is a restaurant worth travelling to Finsbury Park for even if you don’t live in the area.
The room is larger than it looks from the outside with a smattering of tables at the front next to a bar (you can dine at the bar) with a larger section at the back. The décor is sort of stripped-back industrial, fairly low-lit (good for a date I’d say) with the music (tasteful soul) noticeable but not obtrusive.
The menu offers tapas – a wide variety of tapas with a hefty amount of daily specials. I like to test a new Spanish place by trying the cold meat and cheese offerings as an intro to see what the quality is. In this case it was peerless – a generous helping of 5 or 6 different meats, each with an individual taste and texture and four varieties of sheep cheese. With some good soft bread and a glass of fino they went down a treat.
The waiter was happy to wait for us to scoff the planchas before we ordered some tapas for the main event. For these we went for a mixture of the familiar and the moderately exotic – padrone peppers, baby squid, squid ink rice, scallops and some other stuff (yup, was definitely getting the big eyes!). There’s an extensive wine list, lots of organic, and I opted for a red from Tenerife – something you don’t often see on a London menu.
It was v good. As was the food, in fact the food was better than v good. The ingredients were typically Spanish but executed beautifully, each plate a little picture that it seemed a shame to carve up between three. But we did and polished the whole lot off to the last crumb and tentacle. I was game for dessert but wiser post-Christmas counsel prevailed and we had an espresso instead (in a deep cup that kept the coffee satisfyingly warm to the last drop).
To cap it all off the service was tip-top. The waiter had obviously tasted everything on the menu and also knew about the wine in detail – a sign of an employee committed to the project. La Fabrica will be the joker for this year. A restaurant with high-end central London standards in N4 is a keeper.
9/10 (Only because I don’t believe in perfection)
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).