Restaurant of the week: The Farrier offers unfussy dishes in a relaxed, friendly setting
There’s a clichéd idea that in life you have to choose two out of a social life, good job and sleep; in restaurants, you could perhaps say that the choice is between excellent food, impeccable service and a good atmosphere. There are many places that capture all three, but far more that somehow miss the mark on one to accomplish the other two. Those that manage all three, (as well as that bonus – a decent wine list), are the ones we tend to write about. The Farrier is just such a restaurant. At first, its location in Camden Stables Market seemed strange, conjuring images from my childhood of ear-shattering metal music, lots of leather, spiky hair and piercings. However, it appears I missed the regeneration of the area and it’s now quite charming, as is the interior of The Farrier. The space set in two huge brick arches; one has the relaxed feel of a pub or bar, and the other a mismatch of wooden tables and chairs with a wall of wine and a view into the kitchen. Stable doors open out across the width of each and there is outdoor seating for sunny days.
The menu, devised by Ash Finch, reads as if he trained at St John, with a succinct choice of tempting options such as ‘British meringue, Italian rhubarb’ and ‘pork chop, baby gem, apple sauce’. In fact he cut his teeth under Marcus Wareing and Alain Ducasse, which comes through in his respect for ingredients. Alongside the small, changing menu is a blackboard of daily specials, with the prime cuts of meat and catch of the day on offer, as well as another for wines. We dove into a plate of crevettes, simply boiled and served with a zippy lemon and parsley mayonnaise, accompanied by a recommended glass of pet nat from the specials board that tasted of baked apples and happiness. The came the aforementioned pork chop, served pink to show it off at its best; and for my dining partner, a whole grilled mackerel from the specials board with a transformative side of charred spring greens in mushroom vinegar. We kept stealing from each other’s plates as both were so excellent, simply prepared and top quality. The same happened at pudding, where the British rhubarb topped with brûléed Italian meringue and clever sprigs of micro herbs was every bit as plate-licking-good as quenelles of rich dark chocolate mousse sat on a zesty lemon gel with shards of chocolate, topped with a lemony micro leaf for added contrast.
Mention must be made of the wine list and cocktails, for The Farrier is a restaurant that hits every mark. I must admit, when I hear someone excitedly telling me about the all-natural wine list, I inwardly sigh somewhat, expecting a night of funky wines that leave me with a headache the next day and without the satisfaction of a stonkingly good, well-rounded vintage. My inward sigh was stifled by an Italian red, Podere Orto Amai, which delivered everything you hope for from a Sangiovese from the Lazio region, while being organic, biodynamic and unfiltered. All in all, there’s not a bad word to say about The Farrier; the interiors are cool and unfussy, the food is pared back to let the ingredients speak for themselves, the drinks are top shelf and I’d happily go back simply to continue chatting away with the staff and bending their ear about wine.
The Farrier: thefarriercamden.com
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Published at Fri, 25 Jun 2021 10:15:08 +0000