Top Cuvée: Highbury gets new wine bar and bistro
PUBLISHED: 11:35 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 26 February 2019
The brothers behind Dalston cocktail bar Three Sheets are part of the team which has just launched Top Cuvée; a wine bar and bistro on Highbury’s Blackstock Road.
Max and Noel Venning have become a big deal on London’s cocktail bar scene thanks to their work at Bar Three in Spitalfields and Crouch End’s Little Mercies. They’re joined at Top Cuvée by uni friend Brodie Meah – himself a hospitality expert who most recently helped to launch Dinner by Heston in Melbourne.
Food-wise, a menu of smaller sharing plates, charcuterie and cheese has been developed by Dan Miller, who is ex Harwood Arms and Naughty Piglets.
“We are all about using the best quality stuff we can get our hands on, but we also want to be approachable,” says Meah. “We’re not trying to be too fancy, Top Cuvée is a welcoming, neighbourhood space.”
With room for 45 guests, Highbury’s latest venue will serve natural wines from smaller producers and will double as an off-licence. So if you’re enjoying an evening out but want to head back for a night-cap, you can take the bottle home with you.
Although Top Cuvée is a wine bar first and foremost, the cocktails will certainly be worth a look with the Venning brothers in the mix.
“They are taking care of the cocktails,” adds Meah, “we have a really strong cocktail list and that’s all theirs.
“You can definitely come for dinner, as well. We have smaller sharing plates that are led by the seasons, and are going to do lunch on Saturdays and Sundays in a couple of weeks.”
With a mixture of tables which can be booked and space reserved for walk-ins, the venue is open from 5pm until midnight, Wednesday to Sunday.
A first look at Miller’s Parisian-inspired menu includes plates like Burrata, delica pumpkin, dukkah (£8); Beef fillet & smoked eel tartare, horseradish, dill oil (£12); and Beetroot, cime di rapa, capers, radicchio, crème fraiche (£12). There is Crème Caramel (£6) for pudding as well as cheese boards and lighter plates like Sweet potato & sage croquettes (£2.50).
Where does Meah want to see Top Cuvée in six months time? “I want it to be a place that is welcoming.
“A concept (he likes) is the Third Place – where people have their home as the First Place, their work as the Second, and the Third is a communal spot for everyone who is local to feel comfortable and welcome; to use the space as they see fit.
“We’ll have people coming in for dinner and drinks, or just a chat and a cocktail – we want to be a hub in the neighbourhood. If you think about the traditional Third Place, in the UK it’s often the pub, in France it’s the bistro, in Ancient Greece it was the amphitheatre, these are communal meeting spots which always centre around food and drink.”
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