St. John’s

November 26, 2005

26 St. John Street, EC1M 020 7251 0848(November 24, 2005)  Chef/Owner Fergus Henderson has made a name for himself at this former smokehouse just outside the Smithfield Market, turning out dishes with parts of the animal that usually don’t find their way onto many menus. But, don’t let that put you off. The entrance is through a café and bakery, then up some old metal stairs into a whitewashed large room which includes the open kitchen. st-john-2.jpgButcher-paper tablecloths maintain the feel of the old meat district, but the napkins are linen and the rest of the table setting gracious. Although the atmosphere is a bit casual, the service is very professional and friendly.

stjohn1.jpgWhile we had come prepared to be offered all sorts of odd bits, the menu was actually fairly tame. We started with an earthy terrine (£6.40) and roasted bones with marrow served on a parsley salad (£6.50) that was out of sight. Gary feasted on the special of rabbit with mustard and bacon (£15.20) and Varian delighted in the partridge with Jerusalem artichokes (£21.60).

The waiter suggested that we try the vegetable special, sprout tops (£3.20) a seasonal delicacy rarely found. New to us, they were a real treat, bright green and firm; evidently just blanched and then tossed in oil and seasonings.

To finish off the meal, Varian had a plate of some English cheese (£7.20) and Gary tucked into the buttermilk Pudding with prunes and cookies (£6.40).

Throughout we drank a very nice 2002 Baron de Brane Margaux (£43)

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