Augustus Harris in Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s foodie neighbourhood receives another addition to its streets – this time on Catherine Street, right next to Miskhins and Opera Tavern. Set amidst the Theatreland hustle and bustle, it’s hard to believe you would find such peace in a notoriously over-populated part of the city.
The tiny two-floor Venetian-inspired restaurant features an intimate bar with seating for ten or so on the first floor, with up to 20 more seats downstairs – complete with lighting high enough to read the menus, but low enough so there’s room for candles, clean wooden flooring, smoked mirrors and wall shelves filled with Italian produce and wine.
The cocktail list features perhaps the most popular cocktail ingredient this year, Campari, with at least four cocktails based on this, including the classic Aperol Spritz and Negroni. For the small denomination of those who are not a fan, basil and mint as well as gin and rosemary cocktails provided refreshing alternatives. Of course, the all-Italian wine list is simple, short and provides a great selection both in variety and price range.
The menu is split into three short sections: Bar snacks, Crostini and Dolci. We opted for the Stracciatella cheese to start, served with sumptuously warm sticks of focaccia; the perfect consistency, not too runny with a subtle creamy flavour. Following this we went for the Fennel, Radish and Orange Salad, which isn’t particularly exciting as a complete dish (it feels slightly misplaced in December) but nonetheless refreshing, with the sweetness from the orange firing up the relative plainness of the fennel. The crostini really stole the show – we chose two variations, the first being the Gorgonzola, Asian pear, grapes and honey; a classic cheese board match made in food heaven with the honey binding the ingredients on each bite together. The second crostini was the Porchetta with Taleggio and Herbs; we had this to finish, and if it wasn’t for the fact that we had already had so much cheese, the creamy and fruity taleggio would have been the best cheese to enhance the lightly smoked porchetta, otherwise full of flavour and drizzled with a sweet herb oil.
Not too serious, simple and great value for money, Augustus Harris is certainly the place to enjoy beautifully orchestrated dishes with honest and authentic ingredients without leaving hungry. Served alongside a no-nonsense, sensibly priced wine and cocktail list, it’s a perfect spot for some pre-theatre drinking, a glass of wine or two with friends after work or even a first date!
Augustus Harris: 50/60
To book a table at Augustus Harris, 33 Catherine Street London WC2B 5JT, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit here.