Hartnett-backed Merchants Tavern to open on 8 October

12 September 2013 by
Hartnett-backed Merchants Tavern to open on 8 October

Merchants Tavern, the collaboration between Angela Hartnett, Neil Borthwick and Canteen founders, Dominic Lake and Patrick Clayton Malone, will open on 8 October at 36 Charlotte Road, London.

The 130-cover restaurant, bar and private dining room, is an update on the classic tavern. The kitchen will be run by chef Borthwick, and the restaurant takes its name from his belief that chefs are "merchants of good fortune", a belief instilled in him during his tenure as sous chef for Michel Bras.

"The food will be skilled yet honest; we will source the best cuts of meat, the finest seafood and excellent vegetables, leaves and fruit - though without that skill, care and attention they cannot shine. Even lesser utilised ingredients can be inspiring when approached this way," said Borthwick.

Borthwick and Hartnett have created a modern European menu directed by seasonality.

Starters include: roast quail, hazelnut pesto, remoulade and foie gras (£9.00); salt cod cream, pickled fennel and toast (£8.00); and hogget broth, pearl barley and Berkswell toast (£9.00).

Main courses will include roast venison loin, braised red cabbage and parsnip purée (£21.50); roast turbot, coco beans, anchovies & bread sauce (£18.00); mallard, braised endive & sarladaise potatoes (£21.00).

The dessert menu features London honey tart, malt whisky cream and crème fraîche (£7.00); manjari chocolate pavé, orange & kumquat Salad (£7.00); Rum Baba, caramelised apples & raisins (£6.00).

The wine list will focus on classic and natural wines from French, Italian and Spanish grower.

The cocktail list has been devised by bar manager Michael Cook, formerly of 5 Hertford Street.

A daily changing bar menu includes Jesus salami, bresaola and fennel salami (£6.00), veal and ham hock Kromeski and tarragon mayonnaise (£4.00); deep fried artichoke, red onion and mint salsa (£3.00); and bar cheeses: Lincolnshire Poacher, Mozzerella di Bufala and Admiral Collingwood (£3.00).

Merchants Tavern is designed by Hackney based design studio Very Good and Proper and refers to the late 50's and early 60's in a style described as "Madmen meets Victoriana."

Hartnett said: "We spent a long time searching for the right space, and we knew this was it. It's the old Cantaloupe site, which was one of the first restaurants and bars in Shoreditch before the area became so popular. There's a real sense of history and community here which is vital for us to maintain and we want to make Merchants Tavern a part of this."

New appointments for the restaurant include Thomas Blythe, formerly general manager of St. John and Fino, and Tania Marie-Davey previously restaurant manager of St. John Hotel and Fifteen.

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