Venturing into the North London dining scene is an exciting experience for me. Being more of a South Londoner, I rarely get to go out for dinner on the opposite side of the city. There’s no excuse really, as North London has an abundance of international restaurants and cafés, including a number of notable Latin American restaurants.
Take Comedor Grill & Bar on Upper Street in Islington, it’s a South American grill and bar on one of the busiest restaurant streets in North London boasting an eclectic selection of dishes and cocktails from all over the continent. Like a lot of restaurants these days, Comedor Grill & Bar has a strong Twitter presence and after tweeting about them, they were quick in convincing me that it was worth the trip across London.
As much a cocktail bar as a steak-house, Comedor Grill & Bar offers customers all the tastes of Argentina and Peru, for a very reasonable price. Get 241 cocktails on Thursday evenings and half price steaks on Mondays, and Tastecard-holders can get 241 on main meals and starters. Already so many reasons to head to the North and we haven’t even got to the food!
We started off with a couple of cocktails from the list of 50-odd concoctions, ranging from classic Margaritas and Martinis to Pisco Sours and “Peruvian Panpipes” (Pisco and passionfruit cocktail served in two separate flutes).
The menu is split up in Small Dishes, Medium Dishes, Grill and Salads. For the meat lover, the Grill section will instantly attract attention. Four different cuts of steak, mixed grill, lamb shank, burgers and fish, all with their own unique South American twist. Aside from the large meat dishes, the menu offers a good selection of other dishes with classics such as empanadas, ceviche, causa rellena, chicken aji panca (Peruvian chicken curry) and vegetarian options with quinoa and exciting salads.
Of course, for a “Grill & Bar” the quality of the restaurant’s steaks is vital. All steaks, no matter what cut, are marinated in a herby Argentinian chimichurri sauce. With both steaks ordered as medium-rare, we were happy to find that they were cooked exactly to our liking and the meat was very flavoursome.
We ordered three sides between the two of us, choosing the smoky Colombian beans and bacon, paprika sauteed potatoes and a sweet and fruity butternut squash salad. We ordered extra huancaina and guacamole but they were unnecessary, as the steaks were tasty enough without any extra sauce.
Juicy steaks and exotic sides make for a delicious meal in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with attentive and welcoming staff. Comedor Grill & Bar provides a casual dining and drinking atmosphere, forgetting needless frills and focusing on authentic well-prepared South American food and both traditional and exotic cocktails. So if you’re thinking about heading to North London for dinner, make sure that Comedor Grill & Bar is high on the list of options.
Comedor Grill & Bar, 176 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1RG
Tel: 020 7354 2843 www.comedorgrillandbar.co.uk
Price: approx £25 (food only)