Islington reco - dinner after 69 Colebrook Row [London]
Day trip to London next sat. Cocktails at 69 Colebrook Row booked at 5pm. Recommendations for early dinner? What do you think about Prawn on the lawn, Pig & Butcher or House of Wolf?
Not looking for BBQ, burgers, pubs (unless exceptional gastro-pubs) or ethnic. But rather casual places with fresh, seasonal ingredients, polished cooking with skill on the plates.
Last time in London we ate at Elliot's Cafe (Borough Market) and St. John (Smithfield).
In roughly that order. The Afghan Kitchen is very sparse but wonderful food. The Delhi Grill isn't the best india food in London but it's right by 69 CR, has wonderful atmosphere and service and is really very very good.
Steer well clear of House of Wolf.
House of Wolf is a dingy pub spread out over multiple levels. It's been re-named several times in the last few years, and this incarnation has only bothered to change the sign over the front door.
Last time I was there the staircases reeked of urine, I was hit in the face by a staff member pushing through a swing door at top speed (an accident for sure, but the muttered "sorry" as he went on his way, not stopping to help me out even though I bore the brunt of it with my nose and another member of staff was rude and condescendingly told me to "go back to my group and maybe have a glass of water" because I had trouble balancing afterwards (I hadn't had a single drink, and it took me a couple of minutes to realise he had assumed that I was drunk). Thankfully a bouncer and a rather more polite bartender were very helpfull, but I'll never voluntarily set foot in the dump again.
Oh, and the food is shit. Microwave, boil-in-the-bag nasty, and not even in spitting distance of the same league as the other two you're considering.
I'd pick Pig and Butcher over Prawn on the Lawn today, because I'm in the mood for something robust, relaxed and comfortably seated. Prawn on the lawn is very cool. And very, very busy on Saturdays.
There's an Ottolenghi on Upper St that fits the fresh, seasonal and casual brief, but is not as "cool" as the other two. I love their food, but I do think of it as a kind of N1, push chairs, 4 x 4s, take the mother-in-law out for lunch kind of place. But like I said, I love the food.
And a plus 1 for the Trurro recommendation - but you will need to book.
Technically a pub but the Smokehouse is excellent - takes meat very seriously and elevates it above the current burger/bbq trends.
Trullo also worth a look near Highbury & Islington station for Italian.
Have heard bad things about House of Wolf.
Prawn on the Lawn sounds good but have heard about long waits for seats.