i’m in the early throes of a love affair - those heady days when i’m obsessing about the future despite the fact that we’ve only met once. but, given we were introduced by my lovely friend tom, whom i trust enormously, i know that it’s ok to go with my instincts. so my star gazing continues unabated and i ponder when we will meet again and how much time we can spend together...
the cause of my excitement? eyre brothers in hoxton. this sexy spanish restaurant is just fabulous and i really wish it was a little closer to home so that i could indulge myself and visit on a (very) regular basis.
while we waited for friends to arrive, david and i settled ourselves by the bar which was buzzing with the sound of spanish and british voices. we kicked off with a bottle of albariño de fefiñanes 2005, which was so good we stuck with it all evening, converting both an anti-white-wine and an anti-spanish-wine drinker along the way. our waiter was also delighted as it’s his favourite bottle on the wine list.
to start i had the grilled chilli and garlic squid which was served with lentils dressed simply in olive oil and lemon juice. the squid was beautifully tender and the punchy chilli and garlic flavours shone through, contrasting with the smoky blackened bits. other starters for our group, included an intensely fishy lobster, monkfish and pea soup, and migas a alentejana, a hearty mix of beef and pork, prepared using a red pepper paste, bay, garlic and white wine.
tom and i had preordered the pork and clams cooked in an alentejo cataplana (a lidded metal dish) which was a wonderfully rich dish full of chunky pieces of chorizo, meltingly tender pork and an abundance of clams. disappointingly, the flavour of the clams was difficult to identify amongst the rich porky-tomatoey sauce but overall the dish was delicious.
the grilled fillet of iberico pork had been marinated with smoked paprika, thyme and garlic and was full of flavour as a result. the spanish really know how to get the best out of pork, a meat that i have often found either bland or tough. the scallops and morcilla with peas was also excellent.
at this point i started to feel very full and gave up on the food, concentrating instead on a glass on pedro ximenez. well, i say concentrating, i did manage to have a taste of the praline cheesecake with pistachio sauce (a little too rich for me but david was very happy) and the quince tarte tatin (nice enough but not up to the standards of the stupendous apple tarte tatin we had at galvin’s)
eyre brothers is the kind of restaurant that suits any occasion: whether you’re tired and want to be in a comfortable, professionally-run and friendly place which serves good food and wine or whether you want to put your glad rags on and have a decadent and indulgent time. eyre brothers is firmly on my favourites list and i plan to visit regularly.
70 leonard street, london ec2a 4qx
t - 020 7613 5346