The first Le Mercury has been a staple of the Upper Street community for years, over 15 at least. A little corner bistro offering affordable, but good food. Recently they took over a former Chinese Restaurant, with larger capacity to bring their value to even more hungry Islingtonians. So with two fine bistro’s on the same street you are spoilt.
We dined at the larger of the two, Le Mercury Deuxieme, great for groups with a more buzzier feel. Definitely check out the smaller one for a more romantic vibe. Le Mercury is a full on yes for me. Why? Let’s start with the service; for a full room of at least 40 covers, two waitresses owned the floor. I mean from greeting to seating, from drinks order to food order, from check-back to clearing and the bill. There was a runner with food, but these two girls were on point. They were totally aware of what was going on in the room at all times, so the service was seamless.
Now for the food. To be honest, I visited two nights in a row, so I am going to cover all the food we had in one go. For starters we had Ravioli de la Mer (crayfish and lobster ravioli, wilted spinach with shellfish creamy sauce), Moules Mariniere (mussels cooked in wine, cream, shallots, garlic and parsley), Gambas (deep-fried tiger prawns with chilli aioli). A resounding yes please. All were fresh, tasty, good sized portions for their price and delivered quickly!
For mains, Magret de Canard (roast breast of barbary duck with darlic potatoes, savoy cabbage, red wine jus), Entrecote a l’echallotte (steak with shallot sauce) and Selle dd’Agneau au Romarin (roast saddle of lamb, courgette, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary jus). Slight hiccup on the steak with it arriving a bit more well done than we had hoped, but it was taken away promptly and a fresh medium rare replaced it. The duck was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the lamb was suitably pink. A couple of sides included the obligatory french fries and sweet potato crisps over wilted spinach.
I went against my normal rule of no desserts and we opted for white chocolate and mascarpone cheesecake with fresh strawberries and a sticky toffee pudding with creme chantilly. Both desserts were essentially straightforward, no trying to re-invent the wheel here. I am a fan. It ticks all of the boxes because it is quick, good food, well priced and in an area with theatres, music venues, pubs and bars to have a drink, so you can make a day/evening of it.
Pricing: It is made very simple, all starters are £4.45 and all main courses are £9.95. Desserts come in at £3.45.
Le Mercury Deuxieme
154 – 155 Upper Street
London N1 1RA
Tel. 020 7704 8516