Posts Tagged ‘Scottish’

Resto 12 Irvin, Crouch End

May 14, 2019

In Crouch End to celebrate a friend’s impending departure on a three month jungle placement we couldn’t get in to our first choice, Bistro Aix, due to a party booking. Irvin turned out to be an excellent substitution.

Arriving early we warmed up with a Bellini and had a look at the menu while we waited for the rest of the party to arrive. Irvin’s thing is Scottish-Italian food, making me think of Paolozzi, Nardini, Nutini, benedetti, Ianucci, Macari … in fact quite a dazzling array of good people in the Italo-Scot line.

The most obvious manifestation of Irvin’s lineage comes in the shape of haggis arancini. Well, we had to have some of those! They were excellent – nutty haggis meat and not too heavy on the stomach. My own starter of freshly prepared crab was also very good with a healthy flesh to veg ratio. A main of venison was cooked to perfection and arrived with a generous portion of roasted new spuds. I was tempted to splurge on dessert but wiser heads prevailed, despite the temptation of home made ices (I’ll have to go back for those).

A small but well-chosen wine list made it difficult to decide what to stick alongside but an Alto Adige white followed by a Puglian red was a knockout combination and helped conversation along admirably. And then, and then .. what this? Three grappas on offer? Well it would seem daft not to give two of them a go when celebrating. Thank heavens for the long-ish walk home to walk it all off.

With excellent service throughout and design that shows a close attention to detail Irvin is a very happy-making place. And the tempting bar makes it an attractive venue for a pitstop of wine and small plates during the upcoming Crouch End Festival. I’ll be back.

9/10

To see where else I’ve eaten go to the GoogleMap …

Resto 8 Sacro Cuore, Crouch End

April 9, 2019

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A Soldier’s Song is over. All that remains is a script and joyful memories of working with a talented cast and crew for a series of satisfied audiences. So with the next writing project the altogether (and indeed literally) more prosaic drudge of academic history I turn back to restaurants for a lighter side of writing.

Sacro Cuore is at the end of Crouch End that I usually can’t be bothered to walk to but it was late afternoon and most regular restos were closed. We were greeted by a charming (and ‘hot’ apparently) waiter and had the run of the room. I liked the mural of north London decorating one side of the room, I liked the clutter-free room and I liked the brevity of the menu – wine is either red or white, no fussing.

We all took pizza – mine was salsiccie and brocolli with a good dollop of chilli oil. The base was really tasty and crispy with plenty of sausage and veg riding on it. I wouldn’t normally finish a whole pizza by myself but this one was despatched without mercy. A rocket salad on the side was a generous heap of the green stuff with a light balsamic dressing. The white wine did a solid job without being anything spectacular – which is fine for the price.

There was plenty of takeaway action going on and soon a few more diners showed up too. With Italian banter carrying on between the kitchen and the front of house even on a slow Monday teatime it felt pretty homely. My preference is still for Bufala di Londra in this neck of the woods but Sacro Cuore gets the same mark.

8/10

To see where else I’ve eaten go to the GoogleMap …


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