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Sunday 29 January 2012

London Restaurant Reviews - The Angel & Crown

Having thoroughly enjoyed a pub crawl taking in five of ETM Group's pubs last year (reviewed here), I looked forward to visiting The Angel & Crown, their new West End location in St Martin's Lane earlier this month.

In keeping with their other watering holes, this pub's first floor dining room is a rather smart venue, with wood panelling, tasteful artwork and a harmonious pastel colour scheme for carpets and walls.

(Picture Courtesy of The Angel & Crown)

The menu is seasonal and British, and the wine list is excellent, including some outstanding reds like Paul Jaboulet Gigondas, Chateau Batailley, Pauillac 2004, Gevrey Chambertin, Denis Mortet 2004, and Barolo, Marchesini. These are not wines to be found in most pubs, and these choices reflect the group's philosphy of bringing outstanding quality wines to all their pubs.

We had a selection of canapés including a delicious Pork Crackling with Apple Sauce, Devilled Whitebait with tartare sauce, and my favourite of the evening, Black Pudding and Scotch egg.

To accompany our canapés, we had a couple of their cocktails, all of which are priced @£7 (which is excellent value for the West end): London Bellini - pressed apple and elderflower topped with Prosecco, and St. Martin's Mule - Gosling's dar rum, vanilla vodka, fresh lime juice, homemade cinnamon syrup and ginger beer.

Starters vary from £6 to £8.50, and include some interesting items such as Snails, bacon and pearl barley @ £8, Cod cheek, cod tongue and fennel pie @ £8.50. I had the Potted Smoked Mackerel with Dill Pickle @ £7.50, which was delicious, along with a Riesling, Dr. Burklin Wolf trocken, Germany 2010 @£32.50. The wine was bone dry with pleasing citrus and passion fruit flavours, plenty of minerality and crisp acidity.

Main courses are priced between £11 and £16.50, and include Braised rabbit, grain mustard, faggots, bacon and peas @£14, and Shetland Isles mussels @ £14. I had the Pheasant and Partridge Pie with Roast Bone Marrow @ £14.50. This was a fantastically rich and gamey pie, beautifully presented with a marrow bone to support the pastry lid. For more information about The Angel & Crown's food menu, click here.

Chateau Musar is one of my favourite wine makers (reviewed here), and I was impressed to see it featured in the wine list. Usually, they mature their wine for 8 years before releasing it, but their new range of youthful reds Musar Jeune, Lebanon 2009 is very good @£31.50 - a blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes - a savoury wine with black fruit and gamey notes to match the pie.

To round off the evening, we had a Chocolate Mousse, Cornflakes and Crème Fraîche Sorbet @ £5.50. Despite the intensely rich chocolate, this was a rather refreshing and well-made dessert which was nicely matched with the luscious Pedro Ximenez sherry served alongside it.

I was impressed by the food and wine served at this new West End ETM Group pub, and was also pleased to see that they offer very reasonably priced pre and post theatre menus from 5pm – 6.30pm and 10pm – 11pm respectively, @ £14.95 for 2 courses or £17.95 for 3 courses.

Cost: I estimate that a 3 course meal will set you back around £25 per person excluding drinks, unless you opt for the pre or post-theatre menus, which are £14.95 for 2 courses or £17.50 for 3 courses.

Likes: Very good, reasonably priced, seasonal British menu, excellent wine list, very central location, elegant decor of dining room. The pheasant and partridge pie with bone marrow was fantastic.

Dislikes: Only the house wines for white, rose and red are priced below £20 on the wine list.

Verdict: Excellent nosh, well thought out wine list, great location. The Angel and Crown is an excellent choice for dinner and drinks in the heart of the West End. Highly recommended.

Angel & Crown on Urbanspoon

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