If you’ll pardon the pun, being Head Chef at The Lexington is a pretty tough gig. The priorities here are bands and booze, with eating only a vague aspiration for many of it’s punters. Nathan Perrin, however, is having an outstanding crack at making this Islington music venue a dinner destination in its own right.
Nathan’s story is pretty rock and roll itself. He worked behind the bar at the Lexington, all the while harbouring ambitions to be the man in the kitchen, having previously played supporting roles in restaurants spanning Yorkshire, Paris and London. When the incumbent chef left the Lexington, Nathan jumped in and revitalised the menu, building on the “pie tapas” pop-up he had been successfully running with friends.
Pies, much like pizza and burgers, are one of those crowd-pleaser foods, open to new and interesting twists, which is exactly what Nathan provides. Firstly, we sampled the Rabbit, Bacon, Mushroom and Cider – a delicious later winter affair, all game and woodland. Next up was the Jerk Chicken and Sweet Potato – lovely, sweet allspice running through the potato, although the chicken could have packed a spicier punch for me. Beef Bourgignon was the winner – rich, decadent and utterly delicious. Common to them all was a heavenly butter shortcrust. I’ll be back for the amazing sounding vegetarian option of Lancashire Cheese & Jerusalem Artichoke and will also dip into some of the inspired mash options. We had the Kale & New Potato Colcannon Mash and the Olive Oil & Roast Garlic Mash on this occasion.
Aside from the food, there is a good range of local and not-so-local ales, a comprehensive whisky list and an opulent interior featuring flock wallpaper, stags’ skulls and vintage lampshades.
So, I urge you to give this place a try or, if you are seeing a gig here any time soon, don’t treat the food as a mere warm-up act.
96-98 Pentonville Road