Friday, December 24, 2010
The final week before Christmas has been a stressful one for Londoners. The city’s airports have all but shut down due to snow. Thousands of people across London have been stranded, and many have had to cancel their holiday travel plans.
I have not been immune to this stress. I have been nervous all week in anticipation of my flight to Singapore, and as such I have been seeking comfort food in London again. This time it took the form of a new gastropub in Marble Arch called the Grazing Goat.
The Grazing Goat is the newest member of the Cubitt House portfolio. I used to go to the Thomas Cubitt gastropub in Belgravia a lot when I first moved to London, and the other week I found myself at another Cubitt House pub on Pimlico Road called The Orange. The cozy fireplace and good mulled wine were the perfect antidote to the freezing weather outside. Conveniently, it was only a few days later that I learned of the opening of the Grazing Goat. I didn’t hesitate to go for dinner.
The Grazing Goat has two floors: a ground floor gastropub and an upstairs dining room. There are also a few hotel rooms upstairs for those that can’t quite bring themselves to go home after a long night of eating (or—this being Britian—drinking). My friend and I opted for the more casual gastropub, and were lucky enough to snag comfy leather chairs at a low wooden table next to the fireplace.
We started by ordering a glass of the 2009 Nostros Pinot Noir, which was surprisingly good for pub wine. I was excited to see if the Grazing Goat’s classic British cuisine was equally nice.
First came a starter of chili salt squid with lime dressing. I liked that it was only very lightly fried, and the dipping sauce was a good compliment.
After the squid came the mains, which in this case meant a large slice of the pumpkin, spinach, and chevre tart with a side of lentils for me, and a Longhorn 35 day aged eye fillet with a side of chunky chips and another side of tender stem broccoli with shallots and parsley for my friend. It was all so good that we had to keep going after the mains were cleared. Dessert took the form of a delicious apple-and-blackberry crumble with winter spiced ice cream. Mmmmm. Comfort food.
After another glass of wine, we finally tore ourselves away from the cozy wooden room and left the Grazing Goat for the evening. But the stresses of airport closures and last-minute Christmas preparations did not abate, and I found myself back at the Grazing Goat three nights later.
This time I went all out, ordering the squid again, the fillet, the chunky chips, an excellent cheese plate, and a yummy chocolate brownie with pistachio ice cream. The Chilean Pinot Noir made another appearance, as did a glass of the 2007 Chateau Petit Vedrines Sauternes.
With all of the good food in my stomach, it was hard to worry about my winter woes. And with my flight to Singapore due to depart on schedule in a just few hours, the Grazing Goat in Marble Arch might just be my new good luck charm in addition to being my new favorite London gastropub.