Photography by Chris Osburn
With hunting season now in full swing, the newly opened Compass is offering a special game menu. If trad dishes such as bread crumbled rabbit legs with lemon or grouse served with sweetbread sound worth sampling, we can recommend giving this comfortable pub with an old school feel a try. As we understand it, game dishes are subject to availability. On our much enjoyed visit the pan roast foie gras with gooseberry chutney (£8) started our meal on a deliciously rustic note. For our main, whole roast pigeon, potato fondant, braised baby vegetables and pan juices (£14.50) ended it nicely. We were simply too full for dessert. Of course, the numerous (we lost count) pre-starter pieces of gorgeous garlic and thyme crusty bread (with butter - £2) probably had at least a little to do with us filling up before time for puds. Those few glasses of velvet-y Reserve Don David Malbec 2007 (£20 for a bottle) must have contributed to our being stuffed as well.
Not into game? The Compass is still worth considering. While we were going at our foie gras with gluttonous glee, our dining companion enjoyed a luscious starter of crispy English pork belly, pickled red cabbage and soft herbs (£6). A mere taste of this treat from our grub buddy's plate confirmed that Londonist shall return! After that our friend's choice of char-grilled plaice with chips and tartar sauce (£14) impressed us as well. Truly this was one of the loveliest presented fishes we've yet to seen around town. However, if game is your thing, we've heard tale that the Compass's sister pub, the Green (at Clerkenwell Green) is offering a similar game menu as is Cinnamon Kitchen (which if it's as good as their August seafood menu, it should be awesome).
The Compass is located at 58 Penton Street on the north end of Chapel Market. A short and sweet (and intelligent) menu; a good wine list and plenty of real ales among the beers; tasteful decor and friendly service (during our meal, Tom and Chloe were champions of attentiveness) make this pub a most welcome addition to the rather haphazard Islington dining scene. Visit them online at www.thecompassn1.co.uk.