Joining the Jackdaw & Stump, Slaughtered Lamb, Bleeding Heart Tavern and Hung Drawn & Quartered as one of London’s most viscerally named pubs is this new spot from the team behind the Princess of Shoreditch and Lady Ottoline in Bloomsbury. Scott Hunter and Maria Larsen have now opened their third venue, making them serial publicans, by the ‘serial killer’ definition.
The gutsy theme doesn’t end with the name – carcasses, apparently, are butchered on site, which the manager told us allows the kitchen to cook cuts from rare breed animals at cheaper prices than normal. The meat is used in dishes such as home-cured bacon and black pudding salad with endive and orange; lamb shoulder with borlotti beans; or venison haunch with beetroot. And very good they are too: we shared a couple of the smaller dishes, as well as a definitely non-meaty plate of lentils, green beans and croûtons, and all were excellent.
Craft beer is a speciality too, as it is with almost every good bar that opens in London these days (and that’s a great thing). Here it’s mainly in bottle – there are more than 45, covering the UK, Belgium, Germany and the US – many from small producers, and including a notably good range of pale ales. The wine list offers eight each of reds and whites by the glass, and avoids more obvious grapes in favour of more imaginatively chosen examples.
The Pig & Butcher is no pig’s ear either – it’s been given a handsome Barnsbury makeover (it was previously the Islington Tap), with muted greys, assorted bits of paraphernalia on shelves and huge windows. This new meat/craft beer combo is increasingly common in London, but done this well it’s one we’re always happy to see.