The Charles - a brandy and sweet vermouth-based number I've enjoyed in numerous drinking dens - is a prince among cocktails. In honou...
Thursday, 1 August 2013
3 Crowns, Old Street
Were it in Silicon Valley USA, rather than off Silicon Roundabout (that unlovely junction that blights old Old Street ), The 3 Crowns would be a very different local for the web designers, game developers and app-y hour geeks that will inevitably make up this new indie food pub's clientele. Where Californians demand spirulina smoothies and quinoa cosmopolitans,"No vodka! Hold the triple sec!" and the sort of macrobiotic organic edamame-based baloney Gwynnie and Madge might fancy, the London IT massive will be happily shooting out their brain cells, retro arcade game-stylee, doing serious damage to the 3 Crowns' kegs of American pale ale (via Hackney Brewery) and Czech-style pilsner from Norwich micro, Redwell. Behind its original green glazed tiled exterior, the 3C's stripped back nu-Edwardian pose is low on folderol, shifting the focus on to the open kitchen that flanks the rear dining room. Pile in for bar food, dinner, or an £18 three-course lunch. Trad Brit with a slight Gallic accent is the sort of grub that talks to me: rustic terrines; guanciale with avocado and tomato; Middle White roast pork with celeriac remoulade and capers; hake, mussels and samphire; onglet in a bun; spiced oxtail and sweet potato mash; possets, fools, or walnut tart with strawberries and cream. A reasonably priced, interesting wine list has big juicy Chablis, doable Pays d'Oc rouge at £16, Txakoli - an effervescent Basque white that got the thumbs up when I tried it for the first time recently on a hot afternoon on a beach near Bilbao - and Ambriel Classic Cuvée, a brand new sparkling chardonnay / pinot blend from West Sussex producers Outhwaite that's making waves. At the 3Crowns, I find myself thinking "sometimes, all you want is a decent local. Shame I'm not a local." 8 East Road, N1 6AD 7842 8516 www.the3crowns.co.uk