Sunday, May 23, 2010

London: St John Bread and Wine

I already mentioned that we are not only meat-eaters in our family, but my husband has fantasies about opening up his own butcher shop and restaurant. So it makes sense that one of the most exciting restaurants for Matt to go to, is St John, owned by Fergus Henderson. Fergus has a couple of books out, the most popular being Nose to Tail Eating, and while Matt only makes the madeleines out of it, we all appreciate the philosophy behind the book (don't let any part of the animal go to waste). We went to his main restaurant the last trip, and weren't in love with it, but primarily because it was too much of a destination vibe, and had staff that didn't seem to know the menu or the wine list--and if you are going to a proper restaurant, you expect a bit more. St John Bread and Wine is more informal--you can just pop in and buy bread, granola, wine...or you can sit down to a lovely lunch. It's not very expensive (six of us ate and had a bottle of wine and bottled water for 96 pounds), and we got a booking the day before. It's also right across the street from the Spitalfields Market, which we didn't go through, but had it been a rainy day, or had we not been in a crowded market the day before, we would have. Instead, we checkout a cute shop on the perimeter of the market called Albam (men's clothing), and got a nice coffee at Market Coffee House. Oh, and I almost forgot, we had a nice star sighting at St John--Maggie Smith. 
Love the simplicity of this.
There's no kids menu here, so you need to ask alot of questions to figure out what to order for them. We initially ordered the duck egg with potato, but it turned out to have too much horseradish in it. They loved this Middle White Faggot & White Beans (faggot is a meatball that is made with offal).
The duck egg that was unsuccessful for them, but very successful for us.
Celery Hearts and Crozier Blue. Delicious.
Foie Gras and Duck Liver Toast
Spitalfields Market
Albam the men's shop
Christ Church from 1729, across from Spitalfields.
Inside the Market Coffee House, which looked like they had nice pub food and desserts, but the wait for the coffee was forever. It's good to build wait time into your expectations when you are out and about on the weekend.

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