Rainy Day Drinks & St. John's Restaurant

Once the rain started we took the Tube over to Craft Beer Co. Unfortunately we miscalculated the walk and got completely soaked. It was bad- I mean head to toe soaked. Oh well it was made somewhat better by the fantastic selection of 16 cask beers, keg craft beer and about 300 bottled beers at the bar.

This place specializes in beer from all over the world and they just happened to be highlighting Southampton beers that day.

Of course who goes to London to get a beer they can have in NY? Instead I enjoyed an awesome red lager from the UK while Mr. T had an Espresso Porter . We stayed at Craft Beer until the rain let up and decided we could maybe do one more pub before our dinner at St. John’s.

The rain had stopped but there were huge puddles and slick streets left over. We were walking down one road decorated with some shiny stones and well those stones were like stepping on a banana peel because Mr. T took one step and went down hard. I have no idea how his iPhone didn’t get smashed to bits but his hand, knee and arm were all pretty banged up. We ended up searching for bandaids for what seemed like hours. Finally we found a pharmacy and stopped in a little Irish pub so he could fix himself up. Day one- stomach problems, day two- multiple fall wounds…we weren't exactly doing so well on this trip. But a good meal was ahead so we trudged on!

We had eaten at the smaller St. John’s Bread and Wine the last visit and loved every second so we were excited to finally try out the original. We started out with a bottle of the house red and our first appetizer, which was probably the highlight of the night for me, the Braised Octopus with Chickpea and Red Onion.

Everything in this dish just worked. The Octopus was incredibly tender, probably the most tender I’ve ever had and the bright pickled onions and creamy chickpeas made this a vibrant and refreshing dish. Our second appetizer was also awesome-Crispy Pigs Skin with Radishes & Watercess.

I absolutely loved the creamy dressing on the salad and the salty skin was fabulous when you got a perfectly cooked piece. Unfortunately it was a little uneven. Some pieces were great and some were so crisped up they didn’t taste like anything but crackling fat. However I would definitely order this dish again.

Unfortunately my Crumbled Veal with Chicory and Anchovy was a disappointment. It was basically a wiener schnitzel. It was a good wiener schnitzel- don’t get me wrong. But it was dull and unexciting. Nothing like the euphoria I experienced last year with the Ox Heart.

Mr. T’s Braised Hare & Swede fared better. This was certainly a gamey piece of meat but it was tender and the sour swede really went well with it although he also said he was expecting a little bit more.

The new potatoes looked good but lacked any flavor.

For dessert we ordered the Trecale Tart & Vanilla Ice Cream which was good but insanely sweet. Thank goodness we split this dish because I would have been in sugar overload eating one alone. It kind of reminded me a Chess Pie or the filling of a Pecan Pie.

So overall we didn’t love St. John’s anywhere as much as we loved Bread & Wine. By the time we finished up the place was packed and it was obvious they were trying to turn our table over without much regard to whether we were finished or not. Both of us left a little disappointed and yearning for our dinner at the other one.

We tried to end the day on a positive note with a cocktail near our hotel at the Albannach but by that time we were both tired and a little down. Mr. T’s wounds were killing him, our clothes were messy from being poured upon earlier and I had hit a wall from the jetlag and drinks. We retired to the room and went to bed hoping for a more successful day tomorrow.

Craft Beer Co.

St. John Bar and Restaurant