The best of the new Restaurants in Belsize Park: Truscott Cellar
NW3 has been screaming out for a place like Truscott Cellar, which has just opened on Haverstock Hill, taking the place of '70s relic 'The Weng Wah House. Passable Belsize Park restaurants are few and far between. They're also pretty volatile- the ones that survive are generally chains who can afford the extortionately high rent; think Giraffe, Pizza Express and, most recently, Franco Manca.
Praise the lord, then, for Truscott Cellar, the latest from the husband and wife duo behind Maida Vale's Truscott Arms, which in 2015 won the Gastropub Award for 'Best Roast in Britain'.
This new joint is a little bit different. For one thing, there's not a roast in sight - the focus here is on wine and small plates. Secondly, the set up is very different. The Truscott Arms is airy and spacious, whereas the Cellar feels more like, well, a cellar-bar. The vibe here is NYC underground, dark wood, leather banquettes and slightly cramped.
Truscott Cellar: Wine
It's hard to decide whether the food or the wine was better. Both blew us away. The wine-list is long and completely exceptional; the menu is pally ("Picpoul is very ‘on-trend’ we’re told... not that we’ve ever paid
attention to such things" ) and the charming manager was a wonderful guide. We ended up with a gorgeous bottle of Soave.
Truscott Cellar: Food
Head chef Aiden McGee's food menu consists of modern riffs on British classics. We had four small plates between four, and they were all excellent. The baked wild mushroom, filled with artichoke and cheese cream was beautiful - the flavours were simple but rich, and teh texture of the dish was perfect. The colcannon would have been unrecognisable to any Irishman, but was divine; barley and cream where mashed potato should have been, with basil and Ragstone goat's cheese. A triumph. The cornish cod was cooked to perfection, and the roast squash was gorgeous with honeyed goat curd and truffle oil.
We have one complaint: the lights, which were harsh, white and for some reason incredibly bright, almost ruining the whole effect. Why, why, why? Turn them down! You feel a little squashed anyway, and don't need a huge bright light reminding you how small your table is. *
Other than that, we loved the Truscott Cellar! Pop in for pre-or post dinner bite, or order a few more dishes and make a meal of it.
*Please note, the Truscott Arms have since been in touch to reassure us that their lighting is fixed, and the bar is now 'moodier and sexier' than ever before. Fabulous!
|What||Truscott Cellar, Belsize Park|
|Where||Truscott Cellar, 240 Haverstock Hill, NW3 2AE | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Belsize Park (underground)|
10 Sep 15 – 10 Sep 17, 12pm – 12.30am, Lunch and Dinner
|Price||£25 Average Spend|
|Website||Click here to book for more information|