Archive for March 8th, 2008

Marquess Tavern gastropub, Canonbury, Islington

With so many good gastropubs in the neighborhood, Jon and I don’t visit some as often as we’d like. The Marquess Tavern, for example, is no more than a 15-minute walk from our flat, but because it’s on the “other side” of Upper Street – the Canonbury side – we make it there only once three or four months.

My most recent visit – yesterday – reminded me how stupid it is we don’t go more often. First, there’s the service, which is attentive, helpful and friendly. Getting a pitcher of tap water is not only “no problem,” but the pitcher arrives with slices of lemon. A true miracle of the London dining scene.

Second, there’s the dining room, which is high-ceilinged and beautiful in its crown-moulded glory. Chalkboards listing dozens of beers, wines and whiskeys complete the casual-elegant look of the dining room. Overstuffed leather sofas at the front of the pub welcome those who are there just to drink.

Last, but not least, is the food. Simple and elegant – just like the dining room, come to think of it.

I took the photo of the dining room (above) at closing time, which is why the place looks empty. In reality, the Marquess is always bustling because it’s a place that’s particularly nice to bring a group of friends. Large cuts of meat are available daily, and they’re sized for sharing (e.g., roast rib of beef for six, priced at £75). You should see these roasts come to the table – they’re massive. And festive. Nothing says “wow” like a big plate of meat. (more…)

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