Coppinger Row

We have been trying to get to Coppinger Row for several months now and it isn’t made any easier by their no reservation policy but finally on our fourth attempt we managed to grab a table late on a Sunday evening (they serve up until 9pm). I’ve been a big fan of the head chef Troy Maguire since his L’Gueuleton days so I was interested to see what he was up to now after his unsuccessful stint at Locks.

Our table was near the back of the restaurant and was a little bit too snug but as it wasn’t that busy it was fine; I can imagine it feeling quite cramped when the restaurant is full though. We decided to share a starter and went for the crab and crayfish salad with sourdough toast which was very nice: a good ratio of crab to the cheaper crayfish and all bound together in quality mayonaisse with some basil and lemon.

As my main course I chose the chicken leg stuffed with Italian sausage that came with lots of lovely spring vegetables like broad beans and asparagus in a disappointingly underseasoned broth; when I added some salt to it it just made the whole dish so much better. My wife ordered the linguine with meatballs and basil which was excellent: unbeknowst to us mint had been substituted for the basil but it was a really clever change and gave a remarkable freshness to everything and I reckon I’ll be trying this trick next time I make meatballs myself.

To finish we shared a pear and almond ‘baklava’ with mascarpone ice cream: this was delicious, the fruit was diced coarsely so there were only a few layers of filo pastry and the rich ice cream was a great counterpoint to what could have been an overly sweet dessert.

For wine, I had a glass of Domaine Des Lauriers, Picpoul 2009 (€5.50) to accompany the crab, it was quite dry with a nice, sharp acidity that cut through the mayonnaise well. I then moved onto red for the chicken, a fine pinot noir (€6.50) able to stand up to the more assertive flavours of the dark leg meat and sausage stuffing. Service was very friendly and attentive but not overly so which can happen when a restaurant isn’t full and the staff don’t have as much to do. The final bill not including tip came to just under €60.

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