Opera Tavern | Covent Garden Restaurant
First opened a few years ago in the heart of theatreland by the tapas titan behind Salt Yard and Dehesa, The Opera Tavern has become a dependable, go-to neighbourhood joint.
And to make sure that they don’t even get a hint of the curtains, they’ve wisely elected to keep things fresh with more than just a lick of paint.
Everything’s been refurbed & refreshed, from the decor, to the menu, to the head chef, and it’s all been done to update the space for a new era. The changes are apparent even as you approach the building, with a muted grey facade punctuated with a pink awning, and a bright neon swing sign.
Inside, the formality has been almost literally stripped from the walls, with exposed brickwork covered in graphic prints by East London street artists. The centrepiece bar too has been modified, to make it more of a social nucleus rather than simply another dining area.
Then we come to the menu. The new head chef, Lukasz Kiełbasiński, has come up through the ranks as sous chef at one of the group’s other standout restaurants, Salt Yard. Here, he’s put together a menu that includes Galician octopus with fermented garlic bread; Iberico pork cheeks with hispi cabbage; and courgette flowers with Monte Enebro cheese & blossom honey.
For completeness, they’ve also updated their cocktail menu, adding in a Spanish-leaning list of drinks like the Salted Amalfi (manzanilla sherry, limoncello, clarified lemon, tonic bitters) and the El Secreto (gin, acquavite grappa, quince jelly
& a parmesan crisp). And that’s not to mention the vermouths and Spanish G&Ts.
You’ll be singing their praises.
NOTE: Opera Tavern is open daily from noon-11pm (10pm Sun), and you can reserve a table on their website HERE.
Opera Tavern | 23 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JS
Like small plate dining? Check out the Italian version at Polpo.