Test Driving The Drop - the Harts Group's gem of a wine bar at Coal Drops Yard

shuckersThe shuckers at the oyster cart outside the bar prepare our natives and cherrystone clams

What do we need to know about The Drop

It's the third place opened by the Harts Group at the new Coal Drops Yard development - you can read our interview with them about it here. In essence (and slightly oversimplifying), it's a wine bar which also serves food.

Where exactly is it?

When you're heading into the Coal Drops development it's at on the ground floor beside Casa Pastor, tucked into the corner. Look out for the oyster cart outside it (we'll come back to that). As for the nearest tube, that's King's Cross, obviously.

Where's the best place to sit?

The wine bar is split into three rooms, two of which have a bar you where you can pop yourself up on a stool. We scored a table in the middle room which was slightly less frenetic on a Saturday evening with plenty of room between the tables. There are also some barrel tables outside if you'd prefer to drink alfresco.

So what's on the menu?

The food at The Drop is dictated by the space, so there's no room for a massive kitchen here. The menu focuses around shellfish, charcuterie and cheese with a handful of other small dishes and hot options. It's around £2.50 to £4 for snacks, the small plates run from £6.50 to £9 and the main courses are in the £15-19 bracket. In the kitchen is Karan Ghosh (formerly Head Chef of Thomas’ at Burberry).

Here's what we had:

radishesRadishes with butter and spiced salt (£4) - perfect snack platter while you're thinking of what else to order.

beefMarinated black Angus (£15) - which went down a treat with that Georgian orange wine in the background.

porkpieNow that's a pork pie. This humungous slice - our first pie of the night - came simply garnished with mustard which was all it needed. (£9).

pirPIe number 2 - this was the guinea fowl and girolle pie (£16.50) - easily big enough for two to share as a main and a stellar example of piecraft.

What about vegetarians?

Certainly, the menu has more options if you're a pescatarian. But veggies are catered for - when we went, in addition to the cheeses, there are those radishes with spiced salt snack plus three of the five small plates were veggie-friendly including the following:

beetrootBeetroot and gorgonzola salad (£9) pronounced absolutely delicious by the one member of our group who wasn't a beetroot hater. 

squashRoast squash with onions, pumpkin seeds and sage (£6.50) - roasted into sweet submission with some nice crunchy seeds for texture. 

And the wines?

Blessedly, for a wine bar, the list here isn't so enormous that you'd need a forklift truck to pick it up. Plenty is available by the glass, carafe and bottle and glasses (125ml) start at a fiver. There's a pretty extensive aperitif section - with sherries, vermouth and more - and then the list divvies up into the usual fizz, orange, rose, white and red. Bottles start at £25 with most in the £30-£40 bracket. The top-priced wines were a Spätburgunder 2016 Pinot Noir and a 120 N.N. 2016 Reisling both at £85.

We gave ourselves up to the staff here to choose for us and worked our way through a selection of wines by the glass including a 2016 Weissburgunder from Andreas Bender (£9.50) and maybe the best orange wine we'd had in a good long time - from Pheasant's Tears in Georgia (£8.50).

Overall thoughts:

Looking like a more modern iteration of one of our favourite wine bars in London, Gordon's, The Drop manages to give the impression it's been tucked into these old stables for years, rather than a matter of weeks. From the easily browsable wine list to the short, but perfectly formed menu to the absolutely lovely staff, this is another hit from those clever Hart (and Somerville) blokes.


More about The Drop

Where is it? Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, London N1C 4AB

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

Hot Dinners dined as guests of the restaurant. Prices correct at time of publication.


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