After over a decade in existence, Eyre Brothers is a trusted local fixture, equally attractive to couples, Shoreditch’s young movers ’n’ shakers and suited City persons deep in lunchtime conversation. The low-ceilinged, dark-wood and leather design helps – it’s contemporary-classic without flimsy trendiness, and adroitly provides both sheltered spaces and large tables suitable for groups. For further intimacy, there are some very comfortable spots near the long bar, where tapas are offered.
Service is top-notch, alert and individual. The menus, which now seem more solidly Iberian than globe-trotting, focus on punchy flavours and vigorous seasonings. Our meal had highs, but also some lows: a seafood salad featured squid, octopus, mussels and prawns of the quality that needs (and got) little preparation beyond a lovely, smooth dressing; the speciality of Ibérico pork fillet, marinated in paprika, thyme and garlic, then grilled, was magnificently herby and tender (meats, in general, are outstanding) and crema catalana dessert was moreishly perfect. A tortilla, though, was disappointingly dry, as was empadão de bacalhau – a Portuguese salt-cod cottage pie – which looked as if it had been made some time earlier and rather clumsily warmed up. Just a blip, we hope.
The wine list is stacked with high-quality Spanish and (more unusual) Portuguese labels, but is pricey.