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Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Pig and Butcher, Islington


Success with The Princess (EC2) and The Lady Ottoline (WC1) has paved the way for their owners’ 3rd gastropub, located in prime grand stuccoed celeb studded Islington. Various TV, music and film stars live in the Pig's precise postcode and had Marmite hack Liz Jones not sold her elegant terraced house across the street, it would have been her local, conjuring up the possibility of a fascinating floor show of an evening. Eat in the bar or reserve space in the smaller cosy dining room. The perma-packed venue’s name sets the tone for a sensibly concise menu using locally sourced meats wherever possible.  Choose from a list of six starters that might typically include blood pudding with red and white endive and orange. Pork rillettes are a well-judged balance of silken fat to flavoursome flesh. Smoky lardons add interest to Shetlands mussels steamed in cider. Portions are hearty to daunting,  so losing one ingredient from mains such as velvety, pink duck breast on beetroot, cabbage borlotti beans, tomato and kumquat  might be an idea. Similarly, slightly overpowering goats cheese would not be missed in fondant Kentish leg of lamb with lentils and baby turnip. If you can manage one, puds include Eton mess and tangy lemon posset topped with fresh peach (again one ingredient de trop) served with shortbread. Vivacious fruity Pays ‘d’Oc red (by the glass, carafe or bottle) kicks off an approachable wine list, and a good range of craft beers and cider includes Bath Gem on tap, Kernel Chinook, Hackney Brewery’s excellent Golden Ale and Hogan Perry. Service is brisk and amiable but would Liz have run staff ragged?
80 Hackney Road N1 0QD 7226 8301www.facebook.com/ThePigAndButcher

Based on my review for www.squaremeal.co.uk