Peter Morrell and his wife enjoy authentic French food in this charming new restaurant
After the highly successful opening of their Farringdon branch La Ferme has opened a new location in North London’s fashionable Primrose Hill. This is in addition to their regular street market appearances in places like Spitalfields and Cardinal Place in Victoria.
La Ferme is the brainchild of young restaurateur François Guerin and his Chef stepbrother Guillaume Dunos, finalist for Michelin Young Chef of the Year 2017. The new restaurant, like the original in Farringdon, will offer a ‘bistronomic’ food concept: combining rustic bistro-style eating with the finest produce from trusted suppliers based both here and in France.
My wife and I recently had dinner at the new location which is about a five minute walk from Chalk Farm tube station. The restaurant has four distinct areas, a terrace for al fresco dining, an elegant mezzanine lounge sponsored by Deutz, which is the house champagne and two dining spaces on the ground floor. In the dining rooms therustic decor creates a warm and cosy atmosphere.
We nibbled on fresh open-textured bread and sipped Deutz based aperitifs, a Mimosa and a Kir Royale, as we perused the menu. It has been cleverly curated into interchangeable sections. The first, the Menu de la Ferme is a collection of small plates, for example escargot, charcuterie selection and foie gras. You can choose a number of these to share, have one as a starter or even as a side to a main course.
The Menu du Chef is a five course tasting menu at £39 which rotates monthly. This menu offered milk fed lamb from the Pyrenees as the entree and salmon trout for the main when we dined there. The final menu is the weekly changing Menu du Marche. It’s remarkably good value at £10 for two and £15 for three courses. As all the courses on the fixed menus are also separately priced so you can mix and match from each to create the exact meal you want. It’s fun and very flexible.
We decided to eat from the Menu du Marche which is chalked up on a blackboard. There were two options for each course. The starters were wild asparagus soup and a charcuterie board, we both chose the latter. This was delicious, it really did showcase the quality of the food. The Bayonne ham had powerful flavours, the lomo (cured pork tenderloin) from the Pyrenees was moist and tender, the mini dried sausage had a savoury moreish taste and the home-made duck rillettes had great depth. This was all topped off with cornichons, their vinegary sharpness countering the richness of the meat.
We had different main courses, my wife chose the pollock and I had the veal. The fish was delicate and perfumed and served with fennel and currants, a very pleasing dish. My veal with stuffing was equally as good and served with courgettes, carrot and tomatoes. We chose a side from the Menu de La Ferme menu, the Coin de Rue, potato wedges which were light and pillowy with a crunchy exterior, the home-made mayonnaise served with then was an added bonus.
The wine list is exclusively French and categorised by region. Our wine pairings for the evening were both the white and red house wines. The white was an organic sauvignon blanc fron the Loire, the Domaine Levin 2015. It had good herb and citrus notes in the bouquet, on the palate there were hints of tropical fruit with good minerality and the finish was crisp and lively.
The red was Les Capitelles 2016 from Domaine Pujol in the Langedoc. Strong blackberry aromas on the nose were joined by spicy notes in the mouth. Well balanced tannins made it smooth and the finish was fruity and persistent.
Desserts, a choice of either chocolate brownie with exotic fruit or a selection of cheeses, were beyond us. I was replete butmy insomniac wife wanted a coffee and was pleased that decaf was available.
This was an excellent meal from every aspect, the décor is warm and inviting, the food well prepared with high quality ingredients, it’s remarkably good vale for money and the staff are friendly and charming. La Ferme have got the formula just right and it’s easy to understand why they are expanding.
Expect to pay between £30 and £40 per head, I would recommend that you book in advance as it is highly popular.
154 Regent’s Park Rd,
London NW1 8XN
020 7483 4492
104, 102 Farringdon Rd
London EC1R 3EA
020 7837 5293