le mercury, islington

Three floors of French loveliness on Upper Street

On Saturday, two of my friends took me out as a birthday treat to the restaurant of my choice.  Someone had recommended Le Mercury in Islington to me recently, and I knew the prices were really decent, so didn’t feel too bad about taking them up on the offer!

I am SO glad that we went.  It’s somewhere that I have walked past many times and is always crammed full – and I didn’t even realise that there are three floors – I believe all of them were full on Saturday night!

Le Mercury is (obviously) French and is apparently used to being so busy – my only negative comment about the whole experience is that they seemed to have a ‘sitting change’ at a set time.  The only time my friend had been able to book was 9.15pm – a little later than we would have liked – but we just made sure we had late lunches!  When we got there, it took about 15 minutes or so for everyone to come in or leave.  We were on the ground floor, which made it rather annoying to start with as there was a steady stream of people wandering past us and opening the door…however, it all settled down quickly enough.

The prices on the menu are set – £3.95 for starters, £6.95 for mains and £2.95 for desserts with side orders at £1.95 – great prices aye?  Bottles of wine were £11.45 to £36.95, which were also great value.  There was a specials menu that was slightly more expensive, including bellinis and rossinis (which were gorgeous) but we all chose from the standard menu.

We were surprised at the portion sizes which seemed very generous, and the quality of the food was fantastic!

For starters, we had crayfish & lobster ravioli on spinach with a shellfish foam, foie gras and duck ballotine with poached dates and toast and beef carpaccio with capers and red pepper relish and salad.

Mains we had sea bass with crushed new potatoes and minted pesto (twice) and saddle of lumb on garlic mash, grilled courgettes and rosemary jus.  We shared a couple of sides of veg which were really yummy too!!

Desserts were poached pear with sugar glaze and cinammon ice cream and dark chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream.

Everything was scrummy!  Everything was flavourful and great quality.  It was a brilliant night, with great service that was completely unrushed and I loved every minute of it.  I definitely recommend it.  the atmosphere was great – and next time I’m definitely going to try the steak – it looked delicious on everyone’s plates!!


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