Wednesday, January 03, 2007

St. John Bar and Restaurant, Smithfield, London

On a recent pair of trips to London, on the way to and from Kyiv and Moldova, I had the honor of eating at St. John Restaurant, at the Smithfield Market in London. The second visit was on December 8th, 2006.

The Menu changes daily.

It specializes in organ-meats and wild game birds, and also does whole roast pigs for parties.

Three Not-so-little Pigs

Over two visits, two of us had the follwing:

Eel w/ Bacon & Mash (twice),
Brown Crab Meat on toast (save your space for other things, unless you really dig crab,)
Duck Gizzards and Dandelion which came in 2nd,
Langoustines and Mayonnaise, terrific,
Cold Rolled Pigs Spleen & Bacon (came w red onions and red wine vinegar dip) came in a close 3rd,
Cold Roast Goose & Pickled Quince,
Roast Bone Marrow with parsley salad, a small bowl of salt and toast,
of course, Sweetbreads,
something else I've lost track of.

(Clockwise, Tender Duck Gizzards with Dandelion Greens, Rolled Pig's Spleen with Red Wine Vinegar and Red Onions, and Cold Roast Goose with Pickled Quince.)

And for mains:
Teal and Jerusalem Artichokes,
Snail-Chorizo Sausage-and-Chickpea stew (that was rockin'),
Tripe and chips,
Veal Kidney w/ Lentils and mushrooms (twice),
Sprout Tops (twice, you gotta get your vegetables),

And for dessert:
and Eccles Cake and Lancashire cheese - mmm,
Bitter Chocolate Cream and Prunes,
Pear and Almond tart...

...over two visits.

Accompanied with:
- Echezaux Grand Cru 2001 by Alex Gambal and some other stuff on the 1st visit,
- Reserve de la Comtesse 2001 Bordeaux,
- a white Cotes de Provence Ile de Porquerolles 2003 Domaine de la Courtade,
- a Vin de Pays Coteaux du Libron, Domaine La Colombette, 2005 Pinot Noir on the 2nd trip.

I struggled with them on some of the more expensive wines - it seems to happen to me sometimes, they like to steer me to the more intersting but less expensive bottles they are proud of or just like.

All in all, a lovely pair of meals, served by generally great staff. At first, even after Nick asking for a larger table and warning them it was going to get a bit ugly, they asked if I was really going to eat it all, then they got used to us.

The bar which you walk through to get to the restaurant has its own board of yummy stuff:

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