The Thomas Cubitt: Elegance Incarnate
Somewhere between glamorous and cosy lies the Thomas Cubitt.
There are a multiplicity of factors to take into account when establishing what defines ‘elegant cuisine’. The food must find a line between the interesting and the pretentious; accompanying drinks must be perfectly selected; ambiance and décor must carry on themes within the menu without becoming garish; and the staff must be impeccable and friendly (no small task as anyone who has ever worked in hospitality can attest). The Thomas Cubitt excels at all of the elements that composite ‘fine dining’, as well as balancing an enticing bar on the ground floor, far surpassing its self-given title of ‘Gastro Pub’. Thetimes awarded it many times with various accolades.
Food is a serious affair at the Cubitt. There’s a hearty overlap between their upstairs restaurant and downstairs bar space, resulting in drink accompaniments that are far more along the lines of pork terrine than fish, chips and burgers (that said, their burger with rocket pesto, dill pickles, and smoked garlic mayonnaise will satisfy all beer drinkers regardless of their situation upon the spectrum of snobbery). However, resolute restauranteurs must traverse up to the first floor restaurant to gain the full edesial experience. The cuisine’s style is decisively British with a light leaning upon seafood, a solid selection of game, and healthy servings of modern twists whilst retaining a sense of upright dignity. The goat’s cheese mousse is a throw-back to the 1970s fixation with all things mousse-textured: in most other settings this would provide an unpleasant, kitsch quality, but here it has been cleverly paired with robust truffle potatoes and baby artichoke, assigning it to more of a flavourful sauce that lends a sense of equilibrium to the dish. This double-bluff of outmoded ostentation is the theme of the menu: the celery puree ends up seamlessly bridging the citrus of blood orange with the sweet, tinny flesh of their tuna dish instead of instigating a groan of despondency within the well-seasoned diner. Most notable is their inclusion of the much under-appreciated goat into their repertoire of flesh. The desserts feel akin to home comforts which have returned from a lengthy stretch of travel with a new, open minded perspective towards their living habits: this sentiment is best surmised through their ginger cheesecake with Yorkshire rhubarb and rhubarb sorbet. Roast enthusiasts will be pleased to add the Thomas Cubitt to their list of best places to dine on a Sunday, particularly as they offer an entire roast for 4-5 friends (or 2 determined Henry VIII emulators; incidentally this also equates to 1 Orson Welles) to share.
Drinks are geared towards wines, with a standard of mostly classic cocktails, and dazzling medley of champagnes and proseccos. Points must be duly awarded to the bartended who created the ‘Basil Fawlty’: a deliciously witty combination of vodka, apple juice, passion fruit, and homemade basil syrup. Everything is presented in a beautifully upscale Georgian décor without appearing as though it is trying too hard, nor feeling too domineering while emanating a courteous gravitas. The rich abundance of taxidermy peacocks adds a final coquettish touch to the overall experience. Cubitts is definitely the best out of the Elizabeth Street restaurants.
Cubitts London is located at 44 Elizabeth Street SW1
The Thomas Cubitt opening hours: 12pm-11pm every day.