Test Driving Lyon's Seafood and Wine Bar - worth making the trip to Crouch End

diningroomThe ground floor dining room and bar at Lyon's

So what do we need to know about Lyon's Seafood & Wine Bar?

This new North London opening may look like a normal neighbourhood spot, but the team behind it bring a wealth of experience in high end restaurants to the game. Running the show is Anthony Lyon whose background includes Hix and The Wolseley while Head Chef Talia Prince comes here via Le Gavroche and The Fat Duck.

Whereabouts is it?

You'll find it Crouch End, just off the Broadway on the spot where Here cafe used to be. Getting here requires a tube to Finsbury Park and then the shuttle W7 bus - it's less than 10 minutes from the station.

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

You've got a good choice of places. Our personal favourite is probably Nickel, which has a surprisingly starry clientele - on recent visits we've seen both Ewan McGregor and Christopher Ecclestone propping up the bar there (separately). Otherwise a very good alternative is Little Mercies cocktail bar by the team behind top London bar Three Sheets.

When we arrived early on a Friday evening it was segueing from being a family-friendly spot into somewhere more for dates and groups. There's a few counter dining seats by the front, otherwise the dining space is split into the cosier section upstairs with an open kitchen and the main dining area on the ground floor with its own bar.

What's on the menu?

Sustainable local seafood is the name of the game here, so everything is from the British Isles and Ireland. Chef Talia has said she's keen to run a fin to tail menu, so you'll find some more unusual cuts on the menu too.

Here's what we had:

diningroomSelection of oysters - our platter included a selection of undressed Fal natives and Ostra Regals along with Carlingford oysters dressed with cucumber and melon and Ostra Regals with wakame and mayo. 

codcheeksButtermilk cod cheeks with rouille (£5.50) - these sounded frankly unmissable and were just as good as billed.

diningroomCured salmon with fennel and ponzu (£9) - lovely balance and texture

diningroomStone bass tartare with yuzukoshu and tobiko (£13) - a standout good tartare with a nice bit of popping flying fish roe to keep things interesting.

misocollarMiso fish collars with seaweed mayo (£8)- the fish for this dish depends on what's on that day, ours was cod. Definitely not big in the looks department but the miso treatment made it so worth winkling out the lovely bits of fish. Chopsticks might have helped here.

diningroomStone bass with cashew celeriac mash (£18) - perhaps the most classic looking fish dish of the night, and given a lovely autumnal treatment.

What's on the menu for vegetarians?

The menu is predominantly one for pescatarians, with the odd meat dish, but there are still a few hero veggie dishes including a barley risotto with hazelnuts and celeriac (£9) and this marvellous thing....

diningroomCrispy potatoes with chip shop curry (£5) - if you were wondering how you might take Quality Chop House's confit potatoes and enhance them it would be this dish where the potatoes are roasted in garlic and cream before being deep fried and then paired with a deeply delicious curry sauce.

What about dessert?

There were just two desserts on offer when we went - a thyme ice-cream sandwich with clementine and this...

diningroomChocolate miso marquise (£6) - you can probably see why we went for it.

And the wine?

Any list that's been put together by an award-winning sommelier must be worth a go and the list here is by Kelvin McCabe who was Group Head Sommelier UK for Yauatcha, and Head Sommelier of ZUMA and ROKA. Almost 100% of the list is organic and plenty is biodynamic too. Owner Anthony recommended a bottle of Vins de Pedra (£38) - a small winery in Spain run by Marta Pedra that went well with pretty much everything we'd ordered.

Overall thoughts:

We're already plotting a return trip to Lyon's when Hot Dinners Snr is down in London for Christmas. It's one of those rare-ish London restaurants that suits folk from right across the age range from toddlers to grandparents and we're totally up for that. All in all, a seriously good addition to Crouch End's food scene.


More about Lyon’s Seafood & Wine Bar

Where is it? 1 Park Road, Crouch End, N8 8TE

How to book: book online.

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @lyonsseafood

Hot Dinners ate as guests of Lyons. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


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