If you find yourself looking for somewhere to eat in leafy Highgate this summer you`d be wise to visit the Rose and Crown. The Grade II listed public house is one of the oldest pubs in North London and has recently undergone a stylish refurbishment. Once frequented by royalty back in the 17th century the Rose is now proving popular with local celebs and chic locals. And its not surprising – head chef Gareth Thomas has serious pedigree: He started out at Pru Leith`s cooking school, went on to train under Jean-Christophe Novelli before working at Le Quartier Francais (ranked 46th in the World`s 50 Best Restaurant), and finally at Gary Rhodes prestigious 24 in the heart of the city.
The menu is modern British with a classic French influence. Mains include guinea fowl with brussel sprouts, white truffle puree, fondant potato with caramelised chestnuts and jus gras; pan fried seabass with scallops, spinach and a champagne veloute- it`s certainly no `pub food` In fact the whole layout and décor whilst not overly formal is undeniably sophisticated. Black leather, crisp white linen and contemporary designed wallpaper combine to make a very modern and stylish interior. Similarly the staff is smartly attired and attentive, throughout our evening the service was extremely slick and polished.
My choices comprised of asparagus with truffle poached egg for starter followed by the fillet of sea bream with saffron tagliatelle and a tomato and clam vinaigrette. Both were excellent. The egg was poached to perfection and the bream was kept deliciously simple sitting on the pasta and not drowning under sauce.
My friend`s trio of salmon starter looked too pretty to eat. The varying smoked, seared and cured flavours were off set by a fantastic tangy orange jus. As her main she chose the new season welsh lamb accompanied by boulangére potatoes and spring vegetable – apparently a popular choice with the celebs. All I can say is that nothing was left on her plate- so it must have been good!
For desert we shared Italian ice cream decorated with mini doughnuts, a naught but nice treat and a fun way to end the `serious` food. There is also great international wine list on offer and we
chose to try a Mansion House Bay- a New Zealand Sauvignon, full bodied with zesty finish.
Under the spell of good food, great wine, a relaxed ambiance and wonderful service we fell head over heels for this place. A real star!
Address: Rose and Crown, 86,Highgate High Street, London, N6 5HX. The nearest tube station is High gate on the Northern Line
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