Words by Simon Difford on 21-Feb-2015
80 Liverpool Road, (corner Theberton St), London, N1 0QD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7226 8304
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm–11pm, Thu 5pm-midnight, Fri-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-11pm
Door: Make reservation
Style: Gastro bar
Recommended for: Aperitivos, Beer, Food
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Owned by: Noble Inns
"House sourdough, beef dripping & homemade Jersey butter £1 per person" is a great start to a menu and it's the hearty British food, not to mention its impressive beer and drinks offering, that has made this Islington gastro pub so popular with affluent late 20 and 30-something locals.
Chunky wooden tables and mismatched dining chairs sit on a dark wooden floor amidst an oyster white, tope and gun metal grey colour scheme. Few original Victorian features survive but The Pig & Butcher has a homely and a distinctly traditional pub feel all the same. The shaker-style back bar bristles with premium spirits and bottles of red wine while scaffolding plank wooden shelving holding rustic wooden herb boxes and ceramic jugs divides the pub proper from the dining room beyond. The overall look is neat and tidy mock-county kitchen.
As the name might suggest whole carcasses are butchered on-site while the menu incorporates reassuring references to the origin such as Cornish cod, Windsor Pork, Chart Farm Venison and Temple Farm chicken. Typical starters include: "black pudding, quail egg celeriac remoulade" and mains: "calves liver, mashed potato, pancetta & pearl onions." Reservations are recommended - especially for the excellent Sunday roasts but a slick wait list system also operates giving notification of a table by text to your mobile.
While offering exceptionally good food, the Pig & Butcher remains a pub with some 60 different bottled beers, including an impressive selection of IPAs and three cask ales on draught. London brews such as Partizan, Meantime and Bevertown sit alongside Belgium brews including the excellent Delirium. The well crated wine list includes 18 wines by the glass.
The service we've experienced at The Pig & Butcher has lived up to the lofty standards of the food and drink offering. All round there's little to criticise but we'd recommend eating at the bar counter over the two small tables by the door.