I have a crystal ball and this is what it tells me: 100 years from now, the whole of London will be one amorphous mass of restaurants. Not a week goes by without your local boozer, shop or public loo being turned into a trendy eatery. By those standards, converting a 350-year-old pub – the Goat in Boots – into a pizzeria, grill and bar is pretty tame.
The Goat’s new owners have ditched the boots (too panto) and created myriad levels (six, if you include the mezzanines), which can feel unnervingly like eating in an Escher artwork. But it’s good looking (as are the staff: SW10 doesn’t do fuglies), all rough-hewn woods and industrial metals in the dining areas, with nouveau-vintage in the bar.
The cooking is Italian-via-Manhattan. The signature lobster pizza broke the first commandment of toppings (‘thou shalt not use seafood’); the dried-out white meat was adrift on a sea of pancetta and watercress. Other dishes fared better however: another pizza, with a heady combination of sliced guanciale (pork cheek), rosemary-spiked burrata cheese and a pitch-perfect soft egg; exceptional polenta ‘chips’ (crisp-edged and served with a truffled mayo); the clean flavours of the tuna tartare. Factor in decent cocktails (rhubarb bellini, say), and this is not a bad spot for wannabe Millie Mackintoshes to spend an evening.