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Restaurant Review

feb march foodThe Ivy Market Grill is open all day, and Venetia van Kuffeler would be delighted to eat every meal there

The newest offering in Richard Caring’s Caprice restaurant group, The Ivy Market Grill, is an all-day café and restaurant that opened its doors late last year. Beautiful surroundings await with a design story that nods to the late nineteenth-century industrial age, with mosaic floor tiles, antique brass chandeliers, distressed paintwork and the pewter bar acting as a beautiful centrepiece.

The restaurant is a place where regulars of The Ivy, WC2 residents and visitors to the area can drop in for a quick fix – breakfast, coffee, a snack over a meeting; or while away the time, relishing the extensive fare on offer. The Ivy Market Grill was first conceived when regulars at The Ivy were asked how they felt about popping into The Ivy for a quick burger or shepherd’s pie pre- or post-theatre. Many of them thought that The Ivy was somewhere where they wanted to spend more time, kick back and relax, and not have to rush. The Ivy Market Grill is the perfect complement to this, offering easier access all day long (over half the tables are for ‘walk-ins’), a terrace for crowd watchers, and a chance for more people to experience a smidgen of Ivy magic – especially while it is closed for renovation (expected to reopen in May).

The kitchen is run by Sean Burbidge, and his menus are an eclectic mix of modern British, comfort food and international dishes, and run through breakfast, elevenses, a la carte lunch and dinner, pre- and post-theatre, afternoon tea and weekend brunch. Highlights on the breakfast menu include truffled eggs, griddled buttermilk pancakes and the Market Grill vegetarian breakfast (with grilled halloumi, flat mushrooms and watercress). Lunch and dinner are a veritable feast – including an amazing tuna carpaccio, a perfect crispy duck salad, lobster cocktail, rack of lamb and whole lemon sole. Afternoon tea entails the traditional fare, plus a rather delicious truffled chicken gougère; elevenses – toasted crumpets with Marmite ‘with a difference’ and toasted teacakes. There is an all-day, mouthwatering sandwich menu and weekend brunch offers all the usual suspects, with additional ‘light & healthy’ options, not to mention mouth-watering desserts for the less “light & healthy” conscious!

The cocktail menu is simple, straightforward and eminently quaffable. The Ivy Market Grill has its own gin and Champagne – both of which are integral parts of this menu. Highlights include Inigo Jones’ Fizz (Fragola Tosolini wild strawberry, basil and black pepper, topped with fizz) and Henrietta Maria Treacle (rum Treacle with Havana Especial, Amaro Averna and a dash of fig honey and orange bitters), not to mention classic martinis, negronis and juleps. For the martini virgin or indeed the indecisive devotee, there is a “Three Martini Lunch”, which includes the Gibson, the Vesper and the dry vodka martini with Nocellara olives. An impressive list of craft beers and IPAs is in evidence, all painstakingly sourced to provide a little originality for the customer.

The question is – which meal should you choose to eat there?


Review overview

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