The Maynard Arms: Review
The Maynard Arms, originally built in 1851 and currently owned by the Metropolitan Pub Company, has just had a slap up renovation in Crouch End.
Can’t say it was much trouble getting there as it’s ten minutes from our humble abode but we were greeted and treated upon arrival (as we always are at Maynard) and sampled a couple halves before dinner.
They’ve got the standard craft fanfare on tap including Camden Hells, Neck Oil alongside some choice bottles such as Kona’s Longboard and Big Wave. Had to go for the Truman Original Porter; apparently brewed using the, yep you guessed it, original Truman recipe from 1666. Can’t say it sent us back in time but was a wise choice for a winter tipple.
People love people
Service was spot on from the word go. Each and every member of the team were knowledgeable and attentive at all the right points, not too hot, not too cold, just right (Goldilocks would be proud).
The menu was a breeze, pitch perfect in options and layout. Food decisions took no time at all and our waitress confidently swayed us towards a bottle of ‘Martin & Anna Arndorfer ‘Vorgeschmack’ Gruner Veltliner Riesling’ (pronunciation encouraged before consumption), a supremely good recommendation.
Despite being particularly pleased with ourselves at this stage we forced ourselves to peruse the wider venue and saw other patrons showing signs of equal satisfaction. The intimate booths and evenly dispersed table arrangement in the restaurant provide a perfectly private, but not isolated, dining experience.
Food glorious food
The relaxed atmosphere was accentuated by the prompt arrival of starters (praise the lord). The scallops (above) were tender and served with crispy pork belly and parsnip crisps; a welcome twist on a dish that can be painfully bland.
The miso glazed rabbit was an interesting take on the wild offering, it was dished up with a portion of ludicrously tasty pickled red cabbage, quite possibly the highlight.
We saw off the starters and made haste with demolishing equally impressive mains. The traditional charter pie was doing well to hold back the contents, filled to the brim with chicken, ham hock, mushrooms, leeks and a tarragon cream sauce. Potentially the best pub pie we’ve tucked into all year.
The 10oz rib-eye steak was perfectly cooked to the request of rare alongside bone marrow and peppercorn sauce that would put Flat Iron to shame (photo below doesn’t give it enough credit).
We’ll reign in the gushing at this point. If we were forced to note a downside it would probably be the malted chocolate fondant for dessert. Perhaps the previous courses had set the bar too high as it certainly wasn’t terrible, just nothing to write home about.
To round things off with the proverbial cherry on top, a night cap of a punchy 54% Ardbeg Uigeadail Islay whisky numbed the limbs just perfectly for the baltic wander home.
The Verdict: 4/5
All in all this joint is a serious contender, they swerve the bog standard commitment to classic pub food without seeming too pretentious or gastro-y. With tip top service, daring dishes at an (almost unbelievably) affordable price The Maynard Arms is a diamond in Crouch End and another notch on North Londons excellent dining options.
Get there: 70 Park Rd, Crouch End, London N8 8SX
Contact: 020 8341 6283
Opening: Mon – Fri: noon – 11pm; Sun: noon – midnight
Words by C.U.S