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December 1, 2020updated 03 Nov 2021 4:49am

Pollen Street Social

By Alex Hunt MW

“A contemporary bistro offering deformalized fine-dining,” is the mission statement at chef Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social.

In practice that means clean, innovative modern British dishes based on high quality ingredients such as Dover sole with parmesan and hazlenut crust, figs, salsify, caviar, and hazlenut velouté or Colchester crab salad, apple and coriander, black garlic, lemon puree, brown crab foam, and sourdough crisps.

It also means what the judges at the World’s Best Wine Lists 2015 called a “great” modern wine list that starts with a “very strong” by-the-glass list and moves from there.

Highlights by-the-glass at the time of judging include a mix of grower (Donson & Lepage Récolte Noir) and big-name (Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2004) Champagne; Victorian Verdelho (by David Traeger) and Santorini Assyrtiko (Gaia) whites; and natural Sicilian Frappato (COS) and Kiwi Pinot (Craggy Range) reds.

The bottle list is equally well-judged between the new, the natural, the organic, and the classic, and all points in between, in a selection that spans the globe in thoughtful, delicious—and, yes, “deformalized”—style.

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