Lyon’s does a roaring trade…
You just have to first overcome the hurdle of braving the bus (or paying for a cab) to get there, as it’s up in Crouch End, an area notoriously/frustratingly far from any tube stations. Minor inconveniences aside though, once you’ve solved the how-to-get-there conundrum, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best seafood restaurants in London. Let’s break it down:
While Lyon’s isn’t a bad-looking venue by any stretch of the imagination – there’s comfy green banquettes, well-trodden wooden floors and green and white tiling propping up a marble bar – ultimately it’s the seafood here that does the talking (but not literally…). They source all their sea critters sustainably from in and around the British Isles and then use ‘em in the most imaginative – and highly delicious – ways.
The menu is scribbled up on a chalkboard, changing regularly to keep things fresh (in more ways than one) and is split between snacks, small and large plates. That can include anything from a prawn herb salad tossed with passionfruit and black sesame; to halibut with curried cauliflower purée; tandoori-marinated monkfish; cured trout served with Wye Valley asparagus and dots of dill mayo; and hand-dived Orkney scallops bathed in a buttermilk sauce.
Lyon’s oysters – acquired from the Wright Brothers – are in a league of their own, and so deserve a section of their own. In contrast to the rest of food, they enjoy permanent, can’t-be-moved status on the menu with different bivalves dressed in type-specific enhancements, like oysters from Lindisfarne matched with a Bloody Mary sauce, ones from Cumbrae in wasabi, caesar and red onion dressing, and ones from Morecambe Bay with kimchi foam. Meanwhile, also sneaking its way onto the menu (and into this section), is a single guest meat dish that could be Iberico pork cooked on a robata grill or an onglet steak sided by a smokey red cabbage.
Lyon’s offers some intriguing cocktails like a rhubarb sour (made with Yorkshire rhubarb) and a Tomatini (a martini twist with cherry tomato), but the wine is what’ll you want to stick to, and stick around for: after all, the restaurant’s full official name is actually Lyon’s Seafood and Wine Bar. The list has been curated Kelvin McCabe, an award-winning sommelier with head stints at Zuma, Roka and Yauatcha, and he’s gone down the organic/biodynamic trail, even including a few bottles from homegrown makers like West Sussex’s sparkling winery, Ambriel.
He takes great pride in those…
NOTE: Lyon’s is open Tue-Sat for lunch and dinner. You can make a booking on their website right here.
Lyon’s | 1 Park Road, Crouch End, N8 8TE
Have a newfound love for dining in the area? Take a look at our list of the best Crouch End restaurants.