Whilst The Blonde may have just celebrated his 30th birthday, I’d like to draw the focus right back to the one who reached that grand old age three weeks beforehand - yep, that’d be me: Cougar Town.
The choice of venue for my birthday lunch was based on a nice visit to The Pig and Butcher last summer where we parked ourselves on the benches outside and had a few things from the snack menu. We dug the mini burger and The Blonde was particularly enamoured with the ‘mustard dance’- a serving phenomena exclusive to The Pig and Butcher (as far as I’m aware, anyway) whereby a charming waitress in a low cut top helps you to mustard. There’s a bit of dipping towards the table, a fair amount of jiggling as the condiment is tapped off the spoon onto the plate, and then there’s three varieties of mustard to work your way through. Beyonce aint got nothing on these girls.
Anyway, enough of that, Here’s a blow by blow account of what I ate with my friends by way of partay.
a particularly wonderful bloody Mary with plenty of spice and feist;
great ales and prosecco, plus the fab English ‘champs’, Nyetimber.
A pre-lunch snack of salt cod croquettes with aioli and slices of cured ham - a really nice touch that demonstrates the Pig & Butcher’s generosity of spirit in the kitchen when it comes to their customers. There was also bread and dripping representing the carbs.
Next up, red mullet with artichokes, curd cheese and blood oranges,
Also, a pig’s head terrine with the soft-squidgy marbled texture of rillettes and black pudding on toast with a little pear and shallot salad.
For the main event, just a casual three beef joints. We numbered nineteen and only two doggy bags made it out of the pub. Animals.
The immaculately rare roast beef ribs came with Portobello mushrooms and a light rocket salad with mustard vinaigrette
Not forgetting the bone marrow haggerty- essentially daupinoise potato with double the fat content. This might just be one of the tastiest carb dishes in existence; crispy top and unctuous insides with thin slivers of potato retaining just the slightest of bite.
The lovely manager, James, suggested we have half helpings of pudding and cheese, instead of choosing between the two- love that kind of blue sky thinking.
All applaud the pudding…
Torta caprese with hazelnut praline and mascarpone - a chocolate hit without the flour, so no bloating. Allegedly. Regardless, it was beyond delicious.
To finish things off, the cheese board.
And then cake, round two, courtesy of Konditor & Cook
As meals go, this one was epic, with a great relaxed atmosphere and cool laid-back perfection that many gastro pubs aspire to but so rarely achieve. Not only that, the three course Feasting Menu was a complete steal at £33 a head plus your service charge. If that all seems a bit much to stomach, fear not, there is a much more manageable daily-changing menu, or you could just snack, these guys cater to all levels of greed.
The Pig & Butcher, 80 Liverpool Road, London N1 0QD