Please note, Opera Tavern has recently re-launched with a new head chef. Time Out Food Editors, July 2019.
Long a fixture on both the pre-theatre (being spitting distance from Drury Lane) and more learned foodie scenes, Opera Tavern is a buzzy, low-lit tapas joint that’s been going since 2011. It was part of the Salt Yard Group before being annexed in 2018, but then the rest (Ember Yard, Dehesa, Salt Yard) were sold too. The ‘group’ remained nominally intact and it was back to business as usual. As you were.
Like its Yardie brethren, it’s solid rather than spectacular. Some plates were splendid, especially a thumping gorgonzola-topped beef and lardo slider; four house croquetas, thrumming with manchego; and a fresh salad of little gem, anchovies and pickled shallots (a tangy respite from the heady Iberian flavours elsewhere).
But both a mound of blackened chorizo with griddled potato and shredded pepper, and a dainty dish of chilli-flecked seabass with wilted greens were over-salty; while the mushroom ‘ragout’ under some chargrilled chicken and cured pork jowl was resolutely sauce-free. That’s not to say Opera Tavern isn’t worth your time. As a perma-vibey spot to knock back a few sherries and a plate of croquetas – with highly affable service to boot – it’s pretty much faultless. But the rest? Está bien.