Age: A few months. One of many new restaurant openings this year that’s been plagued by Covid.
Where exactly is it? On a lesser-known stretch of Blackstock Road, now pretty buzzy with food and drink options.
OK. So what goes on there? Classic French comfort food, perfect for these bleak times. The Kentish Town original is arguably the area’s most loved restaurant, all dark wood, sexy lighting and big windows. And this new N5 branch channels an airier – but still tres Parisian – vibe. But the big news is they’re doing lockdown takeaways. Woop!
What should I eat? Well, dinner here means the likes of onglet, beef bourgignon and duck confit (vegetarian options do exist, of course), but, in advance of the lockdown, we wanted to try the new brunch menu in-house. There’s everything from croissants and pastries on display to cooked classics.
And is it worth ordering this weekend? Hell, yeah: it’s a combination of staples like Eggs Benedict and avocado on toast and more Francophile options. Our super-filling tartiflette was rich with Reblochon cheese melted on potato, shallots, cream and thyme, all heaped on toasted sourdough. Even tastier was a superb dish of wild mushrooms with pureed garlic, shallots, chives and grana padano. Oh, and cream. This is not, perhaps, a place for dairy-swervers – but it’ll surely give your chilly weekend mornings some needed sunshine.
What else? Order the truffle fries, grated with, yep, more cheese, or a side of silken ruby smoked salmon. We scoffed it like sushi.
The interior: discuss. It’s an elegant corner brasserie with socially distanced booths, cute tables for two and a counter overlooking the kitchen. There are bare walls, artfully distressed touches and calm staff. A small pavement terrace has something of the arrondissement about it. It’s smallish too, so the organised amongst you might wish to book a physical spot now before the post-December 2 goldrush.
And what do I drink? We would advise a classic cocktail – negroni or French 75 perhaps – or stick to wine or beer. And don’t forget that, during lockdown, cocktails, wine and bubbles are available for takeaway or can be ordered through the Maison Patron home delivery service.
What’s the service like? Efficient and slick.
Do say: Let’s brunch.
Don’t say: Pay-tron. It’s pronounced Pat-ron.
Gasholder ate as guests of Patron Highbury