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Lady Aga

A blog dedicated to recipes, cakes, baking, restaurants and booze. .... Yorkshire-born.... London-based ..... Labrador-Greed ..... Lady Aga also bakes custom-made-cakes for all kinds of celebratory events

Augustus Harris: Bacaro brilliance in Covent Garden

Set back from the bustling piazza (/touristic-nighmare) of Covent Garden and running parallel to Drury Lane, lies Catherine Street - a short strada that packs a punch when it comes to the act of mange.  It’s home to part of rock’n’roll restauranteur Russell Norman’s expansive real estate; the boozy Jewish deli, Mishkins.   It also houses a tranche of Salt Yard Group’s sharp Spanish/Italian dining acts, Opera Tavern.  Now there’s a new kid on the block and he goes by the name of Augustus Harris.

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An evening-only gem of a Venetian wine bar with a snack-tastic selection of bites, Italian wines and a bittersweet cocktail selection

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Open from 5pm every night (except Sundays), the timetabling of this operation make for optimum visuals - the opulent copper bar that spans the ground floor and the antique mirror-clad walls were made for candlelit quaffing.

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There’s also some Italian store cupboard Italian staples on retail offer for the home cook

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But self-catering was not on the menu tonight, and so we started with the definitive opening ritual to all good evenings; the Negroni

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In the interest of stomach-lining, we also partook in Augustus Harris’ incredible focaccia (I’m loathe to recall just how many plates of this we shoveled down our greedy  little gullets but it was surely approaching four - we were but two in number; January detox, what?)

imageBut the real diet-detonator is this oozing stracciatella cheese - sort of like a cross between the inside of a burrata (liquid indulgent mozzarella basically) and heaven in a bowl.

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There’s a short but decent selection of wines by the glass, carafe (500ml) or full bottle.

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On Mondays they’ll grant you access to the special wine juke box thing which allows you to sample more expensive numbers by the glass. 

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Anchovy and butter soldiers - perfect salty umami fillets offest with creamy butter and crunchy toast.

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Capocollo & artichoke crostini

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Orange and fennel salad - a refreshing necessity when you’re working through as many carbs as we were

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Mackerel with pickled red onion - a great balance of tasty oily poisson offset with the vinegary adornment.

I loved everything we ate and drank at Augustus Harris, and, boy, we really hit that menu hard.  It’s small but perfectly formed (seating a mere 35, split between basement and ground floor level); laid back but classy; a considered operation without trying too hard.  The menu (both food and wine) is sensibly-structured and selective, the staff are charming and the atmosphere is such that you can happily loose hours perusing (/destroying) the menu.  Which, incidentally, they’re changing this week - reason enough for a return visit.

Augustus Harris, 33 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JT

Open 5-11pm (except Sundays)

No reservations (unless you’re a party of 8 or more)

Square Meal

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