Nestled on a quiet neighbourhood street in the heart of Islington, Almeida restaurant has reopened to reveal a refreshed, contemporary new interior.
The updated décor reflects Michelin-trained head chef, Tommy Boland’s, concept for the restaurant’s food: light, modern dishes made using the freshest seasonal produce available. Interiors and furniture have been pared back, revealing earthy, raw materials and a neutral, balanced colour palette. The semi-private ‘sunken’ dining room remains, alongside Almeida’s intimate private dining room to the side of the open kitchen. Colourful paintings by Isle of Dogs’ based artist Vanda Harvey adorn the walls, inspired by time and tides.
Tommy’s menu is an intimate reflection of his personality and passion for fine food: seasonally-inspired, light and contemporary, the emphasis is on clean flavours. Guests can expect dishes such as Octopus ballontine with sea vegetables, lemon dressing, taramasalata and crispy squid, Roasted grouse with celeriac puree, smoked bacon, savoy cabbage, elderberries and barley and Millefeuille of banana, salted caramel, peanuts and honey jelly.
In keeping with the décor and food concept, the restaurant has removed the physical wine list and instead showcase its wine offering visually. One of the first restaurants in London to embrace this concept, Almeida’s staff recommend different wines responding to guests’ taste preferences and food order. Should diners prefer to choose their own wine, they can peruse the restaurant’s new Wine wall: a constantly evolving display of over 80 bins, from lesser known appellations to popular crowd pleasers. What’s more bottles of the staff’s favourite wines are opened regularly, allowing guests the chance to taste wines before choosing – another nod to Tommy’s personal style of cooking.
Almeida’s new bar has been repositioned as a destination in its own right. The cocktail list will change seasonally, incorporating infusions and fresh herbs grown on the restaurant’s street-side terrace such as the Rosemary Julep, with rosemary, lemon, mint and bourbon.