Covent Garden’s Love-in…Opera Tavern
Numerous visits in 2011
As one of my stand out dishes of 2011, Opera Tavern’s Mini Foie Gras & Iberico Pork burger furiously holds it weight against it’s beefy couterparts. Served with a spicy-sweet Guindilla pepper garnish, this balances the rich, silkiness of the foie gras and Manchego cheese strewn on the Iberico pork. It is utter deliciousness and always executed to perfection, on my numerous visits there (some especially for it – heaven knows what it does to my cholestorel level!)
A Tapas restaurant, specialising and showcasing the best of Italian and Spanish regional dishes and produce, Opera Tavern has thrown the gauntlet down in London and fitted in nicely with it’s sister outlets’ (Dehesa & Salt Yard) ethos of great food.
One of my favourite tipples there, that I whole-heartedly recommend is the Vina Gravonia, Crianza 2001 (a White Rioja) at £10 a glass is an indulgence, but when you’re dining out on silky foie gras and burgeoning stuffed courgette flowers, why not? Also take time to peruse their spirits list, Simon Mullins (Owner) has a penchant for Whisky (not in line with the concept- but who cares) and you’ll find some great Blends and Distillers Editions c/o Millroys of Soho.
Other notable dishes include their Italian Scotch eggs, with a dreamy runny yolk. I also enjoyed the steak with marrow, which added a moist sumptuous to the tender meat. If I had one criticism, it would be to query why so many of the dishes come with aioli, a little overkill for me (but delicious even so).
Their admiration of ’pork’ follows through to the fixtures and fittings in the restaurant…the bronzed trotters for door handles and the jamon beer taps. I find sitting downstairs on the bar stools is the best spot ‘in the house’. Here you can easily while away hours, waitching them carve jamon and offer you cheeky tipples, to wet the appetite.
As you can see, I’m a massive fan. The execution is perfect, attentive, knowledgeable service with a smile and the dishes are simply delicious.Opera Tavern, 23 Catherine St, WC2B 5JS