Jason Allen 29/05/21
Looking for a good Greek restaurant?
INO a place.
It’s just off Carnaby, tucked away from the heaving masses on the tranquil little haven of Newburgh Street. It comes to us courtesy of an all-Greek team (Messrs Andreas Labridis, Nikos Roussos and Georgianna Hiliadaki) who already have a spot in Marylebone (OPSO) and a Two-Michelin Star joint in Athens itself, Funky Gourmet. This latest venture worships at the altar of charcoal cooking, riffing off the traditional Greek tavernas that speckle the countryside.
The venue itself is a narrow sleeve of a space, with the bar taking pride of place along almost its entire length. There are more intimate tables on the terrace, and in the sky-lit seating area downstairs, but you’ll want to be at that bar, right in front of the chefs while they work that intoxicatingly fragrant grill, sending occasional acrobatic flashes of flame leaping up into the air.
The food being scorched above the coals includes a pair of hearty lamb chops laid down on a bed of rosemary and served with a helping of Greek yoghurt labneh toped with a herbal ‘michichurri’ sauce; then there’s some meltingly good Iberico pork Presa; and some spiced chicken with smoked Greek yoghurt. Other standout dishes include a plate of tarama with slow-cooked egg yolk and bottarga – and, to be clear, this is not your parent’s tarama. It’s not some pink paste, it’s a silky, white, lemony cloud, and you will mop up every last molecule with your fluffy pitta.
If you peer above the bar, you’ll notice a collection of teeny tiny barrels lined up, all of which are slowly maturing some pre-mixed cocktails within (Negroni, Old Fashioned, etc.), but you should really be in the market for some wine. Greek wine is having a real moment right now, and the quality of the viniculture there has almost never been higher In fact, INO is named after the the ancient Greek word for wine (“ΟΙΝΟΣ”, fyi). The bottles certainly aren’t cheap, but they are all at least reliably good. And if you’re not sure how to navigate the list, don’t worry, the somm will guide you through it. After all…
…it’s all Greek to them, too.
NOTE: INO Gastrobar is open now. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right HERE.
INO Gastrobar | 4 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RF
If you like Greek food & wine… take a gander at Ampéli.
4 Newburgh Street, Soho, Carnaby, W1F 7RF
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7.5 | Good
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