Food and wine, especially natural wine, are an integral part of Cast From Clay’s fabric. In the early days we used to guzzle coffee at Toasted in East Dulwich, eagerly awaiting day turning to night so we could shamelessly explore the wine list and small plates menu.
Today we use clients as an excuse to visit the restaurants we love. Here are a few of mine.
Elliot’s Cafe, Borough Market [Link]
Great food, great wine. If there are two of you grab a space at the bar with your backs to the window so you can watch the restaurant buzzing away. It also gives you perfect positioning and ample opportunity to ask the waiters what food and wine you should be ordering.
It’s a small plate menu – fresh, simple, well-presented dishes that will come out in the order of the menu, one or two at a time. Try the chicken hearts, or the girolles and yolk. Pace yourself. Do not wolf down the bread.
Terroirs, Covent Garden [Link]
A wine bar “serving drinks with energy and food with respect.” They’re another small plate restaurant though I tend to go for the wine, accompanied by the charcuterie and cheese selections. Get plenty of bread and butter (the butter is abnormally good). If First König is still on the menu when you go, definitely order.
As the flagship restaurant for natural wine importer Les Caves de Pyrene the wine list does not disappoint. It’s a great place to start for those who want to learn more about wines made with minimal chemical intervention.
Persepolis, Peckham Rye [Link]
Persepolis has been on Oscar and I’s restaurant hit list for years. We finally made it (with the rest of the We are Flint gang) a few weeks ago and we were not disappointed. With the Chef cooking on two hobs out in the open, this Iranian vegetarian restaurant feels like someone’s home, and the food is as good as you’d expect in an Iranian’s home.
Rather than navigating the Snackistan menu, we opted for the tasting menu (£20 pp) which exceeded every expectation. We left unable to finish. I’ll be returning for round 2 in the not too distant future. A word of caution: patience is required.
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The Other Naughty Piglet, Victoria [Link]
I was taken to the original Naughty Piglets in Brixton a last year and my hosts ordered every dish on the menu. An unforgettable meal. Their second restaurant, a co-venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber, is equally so. They even have one of our posters on the wall – so here’s to hoping the admiration goes both ways.
They’re all about seasonal fresh food, natural wine, fantastic plating, and the chance to buy a bottle from Lloyd Webber’s personal wine collection (if you can afford it). The XO linguine and Devon crab are must haves. Make sure to specify a regular table when you book or you may end up on a communal table.
Honey & Co, Warren Street [Link]
The first restaurant from an Israeli husband and wife team who have gone on to open a grill restaurant on Great Portland St (also fantastic). It’s a paired back restaurant with slightly rickety chairs and tables, but any qualms you have will be washed away on first taste.
I’d recommend going for the set menu (£32.50 pp). You’ll get an assortment of mezze (Falafel to Goat’s Cheese Salad) for the table to share and a main of your choice. The Pomegranate Chicken and Shawarma are epic. And definitely have the Feta & Honey cheesecake which is probably my favourite dessert in London. You will thank me later.