I am lucky enough to work in the middle of a brilliant London food triangle. With Islington just to the north of me, Exmouth Market around the corner, and Farringdon just to the south, I'm spoiled for choice. I'm slowly working my way through the options. Lucky for me, then, that for a recent work lunch we all went to The Peasant on St John St, one of the respected restaurants/gastro-pubs in the area.
The downstairs is a more informal pub and eating space, while the upstairs is the restaurant, with big windows and linens and waiter server. We ate upstairs and for our lunch we had the same menu as would be served for dinner. Prices reflected this; I went for the venison with girolles mushrooms, mache and taratur at £16.50. The mache and taratur weren't familiar words to be, but I was lured by the venison. Nearly every dish, in fact, had ingredients that were unknown to most people.
The venison was incredibly tender and cooked perfectly, and it turns out the mache was just lamb's lettuce while the taratur was humus minus the chickpeas. It was all nicely presented as well, but overall the experience was a bit fussier than I like to enjoy. Most dishes had one or two (or more) ingredients that could have been left out without doing injury to the taste, and the service was a bit more formal than the space warranted, especially considering we were the only ones eating there. For example, a member of the group wanted chips with the meal (they have the best french fries this side of France) but he was told it wasn't possible since that was only served downstairs. Perhaps the answer for next time, then, will be to eat downstairs in an atmosphere I enjoy more.