The Green, Islington
74 Upper Street
020 7226 8895
by Hamish Pastry
“The Green isn’t just a new venue; it’s a completely new type of bar-restaurant.” So reads the lofty claim on its swish website. In fact, the Green has been open for over a year. Which by most standards isn’t quite new, and by Upper Street’s standards constitutes a lifetime. Blink and you’ll miss a bar-restaurant round here.
That aside, the Green does come at things from a slightly different angle. It’s a gay bar you see, but a gay bar that dispenses with any anti-hetero vibes and welcomes friends of either sex and any sexuality. A place to be seen rather than scene, if you will.
It also serves a rather nice weekend brunch. We were drawn in by the promise of half-price Bloody Marys. I love a Mary at the best of times and at under £3 a pop at this time on a Sunday morning I could marry one. Very good they were too, mixed to perfection and complete with horseradish and a fat celery stick.
The menu was a classy affair, which sadly put the Full English out of my price range at a whopping £8.50. I opted instead for Green Eggs at a more modest £6.50. Four juicy spears of asparagus promptly arrived resting on wedges of wholemeal toast, topped with a large pair of poached eggs and a glossy splash of hollandaise. It was clearly cooked with care, the asparagus being suitably al dente and the egg yolks marvellously fluid.
Special mention must go to our extraordinarily perky and helpful waiter. Sundays in the Green are known as Slack Sabbath, but this boy was no slacker.