The Drake and Morgan restaurants have universal appeal… funky but relaxed vibe, reasonably priced, good food and great cocktails. Located around the city, they are the ideal hangout for city workers after a long day in the office. The Anthologist was a sea of black suits when we went along on a Thursday night. The venue is bright with pretty décor; a large standing area is filled with groups enjoying a drink and perhaps sharing food, the restaurant area is more civilised allowing couples and friends to enjoy a comfortable sit down meal.
First things first, a cocktail – the Anthologist has a very special secret bar downstairs for guests in the know. The Blind Pig is a hidden gem, a cosy cool bar serving up awesome drinks, ideal for a pre-dinner aperitif. Entry is strict and it is well worth making a booking. We sat at the bar, brilliantly positioned to chat to the bartender about his London cocktail recommendations. We tried the Mary Pickford (El Dorado 3 Rum, pineapple, grenadine and maraschino) and the Corpse Reviver #2 (Tanqueray London dry gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon and a drop of Absinthe). Priced at 8 or 9 pounds, these prohibition classics are affordable and of the highest quality. Both drinks were expertly mixed in front of us and presented beautifully in misted cold glasses. The Mary Pickford is a light sweet concoction, refreshing and very easy to drink. The Corpse Reviver is a stronger cocktail, a lovely combination of flavours with a kick from the Absinthe.
I could have stayed in the Blind Pig all night, but the wafts of culinary delights beckoned us to go upstairs and try the food. The Anthologist, like the other D&M eateries, offers a varied choice of main meals, tapas style snacks, salads and sharing boards. I would usually opt for a three course selection, here we decided to order a range of smaller and larger plates to share casually as one big feasting course. The food arrived promptly: numerous plates, bowls and boards of tantalising grub, it was tricky to fit it all on the table and I didn’t know where to start.
For the main event we chose the Borough Market Flatbread with Brindisa Chorizo, piquillo peppers, rocket and sunblush tomatoes. This was a huge pizza like doughy base loaded with rich chorizo and vibrant peppers and tomatoes, absolutely delicious and ideal for picking at while we gossiped. My friend adored the crispy Tempura squid with ginger and citrus mayo and I loved the indulgent and tasty Rosemary and parmesan chips and the ultra fresh and crunchy rocket salad which provided some peppery green.
Craving another cocktail, I chose a wonderfully floral marigold martini, an original, sweet drink made with Bols Genever shaken with earl grey tea syrup, fresh lemon, edible gold and adorned with wildflowers. It looked like a gorgeous spring garden. I was less impressed with the skinny pornstar cocktail, a vodka based drink which was just far too sweet and needed diluting with ice.
Requiring only a mouthful of something sweet, we had the trio of pudding shots between us. Chocolate brownie, crème brulee & knickerbocker glory were each served in dinky little cocktail glasses… the crème brulee was the clear winner of the three, extra creamy and full of flavour.
From the deserted and silent street outside, I didn’t expect this venue to be so fun, colourful and entertaining once in the front door. After experiencing the friendly service and atmosphere at Anthologist I can see why this restaurant has become a regular for so many local city workers.
More information here: http://www.theanthologistbar.co.uk/