Lyon's Seafood and Wine Bar, London N8: restaurant review
Try pickled mussels on toast, miso fish collars and sardine caesar salad at this adventurous neighbourhood seafood joint
Looking for a seafood restaurant? Read our review of Lyon's Seafood & Wine Bar, or check out our guide to seafood spots across the UK here.
Lyon's Seafood and Wine Bar in a nutshell
Creative, sustainably minded fin-to-tail seafood cooking in Crouch End.
Ex-Le Gavroche and Fat Duck chef Talia Prince is in charge in the kitchen, while front of house is in equally expert hands courtesy of Anthony Lyon, who's spent the past 20 years working at the likes of The Wolseley and Hix. Award-winning sommelier Kelvin McCabe, wine buyer for the Adam Handling group, has masterminded the wine list.
What's the vibe?
The 62-cover space keeps thing unfussy yet classily comfortable, with muted green banquettes, wooden floors and a white marble bar, while pretty traces of the room's original cream and green Victorian tiling can be spotted on the walls.
What's the food like at Lyon's Seafood and Wine Bar?
Seafood fans will love the kitchen's offbeat and creative approach to ingredients. Oysters – sourced from Wright Brothers – come with garnishes designed to complement each variety: we try Carlingfords delicately matched with a melon and cucumber salsa. Toasted, treacly rye bread comes piled with fat, sweet, pickled mussels and a delicate curry-tinged sauce, while a classic caesar salad gets a successful maritime twist thanks to smoked sardines.
Using every part of the fish is encouraged here and this ethos is expressed fully in stone bass collars marinated in miso then slow-cooked to wobbling, almost gelatinous tenderness and served with seaweed butter. So good we may have impatiently used fingers rather than forks to pry away the soft flaking meat from the bones. Another deliciously messy and hands-on dish comes in the form of giant shell-on prawns swimming in an umami-bomb smoked tomato and confit garlic sauce – a must order.
Veggie and side dishes also impress. Bronzed, crispy bricks of compressed potato layers come with a super-savoury 'chip-shop curry sauce', while whole grilled Hispi cabbage is sumptuously dressed with beef fat and capers.
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And the drinks?
The wine list focusses on sustainable, organic and low-intervention bottles, and there's also a pithy cocktail list – a super-dry, briny martini made with seaweed-infused Irish An Dúlamán gin and manzanilla sherry is the perfect start to a seafood feast.
Finish the evening with a night cap at another excellent neighbourhood outfit in Crouch End, Little Mercies. Stripped-back cocktails include the likes of strawberry negronis made with homemade vermouth and silky caramelised white chocolate old fashioneds.
Photographs by ©Touchfood