Pivot is the London restaurant from Scottish chef Mark Greenaway, formerly of Restaurant Mark Greenaway and currently at Grazing by Mark Greenaway at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh. Sitting pretty on the first floor of an elegant five-storey townhouse overlooking Covent Garden Piazza, the 30-cover dining area is comfortable and relaxed, almost homely. The open kitchen also has counter seating which would be fabulous for the tasting menu, where you can chat to the chefs and watch them work.
The produce-led, fine dining menu changes monthly to reflect seasonal influences and to offer their regular diners a new experience. In addition to two tasting menus there is now a prix fixe lunch menu priced at 2 courses/£25 or 3 courses/£32 (pictured here) and a 3 course pre-theatre menu for £45, with an optional wine pairing for an additional £30. Given their location on the edge of the Theatre District, this is a welcome addition to the higher-end dining options.
Meanwhile, to our lunch. The house salad showcased their focus on the freshness and quality of the ingredients, served with paper-thin garlic croutons and a light, fresh dressing.
The delicately pretty wild mushroom velouté with confit garlic & bacon is served with the velouté in a jug, poured into the bowl tableside. It had a great, earthy depth of flavour, layering well with the bacon and mellow garlic.
The slow-roasted belly pork with toffee apple and mustard sauce was the dish of the day for me. Perfectly-cooked pork is a complex technical task - brittle, crispy skin, rendered fat, tender meat - but this was a masterclass. Also, an inventive take on the classic apple accompaniment.
Next was pan-roasted cod fillet with a delicate but indulgent parsley butter sauce . Mark Greenaway defines his cooking style as 'refined simplicity' and this could be the best illustration; beautifully cooked fish, crispy skin and a luscious butter sauce. Mains are served with a selection of seasonal sides and potatoes: given the ratio of butter to potato in the puree, I'm guessing there is a classical French training in Mark's background somewhere. Either way, that's my kind of mashed potato.
The sticky toffee pudding & custard is again simple, but done exceptionally well. The sponge was light and tender, preventing this from being overly filling; it does make it very easy to eat, and to clear the plate. You have been warned.
The banana & dulce de leche pavlova was quite sweet but delicious, drizzled with the same caramel sauce; a lovely sign-off to the meal. Thanks as well go to their charming and attentive front of house staff and for their wine recommendation: an excellent 2020 Lunaria Civitas Pecorino with good minerality and light floral notes.
Pivot is that unusual combination of a fine dining restaurant with a relaxed and cosy feel; perfect for a long lunch with friends or a special-but-not-too-formal date. Now to go back next month for a completely new menu.
Book Pivot here.
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Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David
Amanda David is a freelance writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events and is a regular contributor to London Cheapo and Palate Magazine.
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