The Hill Bar and Brasserie in Belsize Park — or Steele's Village as these lower slopes are often known — has recently launched London's “first true Pacific Northwest food concept” menu. Or so reckons its owner, Vancouver-born Michael Parker. Haven't an inkling what a particularly Pacific Northwest food concept might be? Think comfort food done bigger, bolder and a lot more fancifully.
Who wants mac 'n' cheese when you can have gourmet lobster mac 'n' cheese? £14.50 yields a gargantuan bowl of macaroni replete with strong Cheddar, mascarpone, breadcrumbs, tarragon, Cognac and flakes of Canadian lobster. Is it as silly as it sounds? Maybe. But it is moreishly tasty. Come to your own conclusions whether it's ever worth paying 15 quid for noodles and cheese — whatever the portion size and however the recipe is augmented.
From an awesome lobster bisque starter (served with fresh rolls and butter, £7) and a well stocked raw bar to salads of quinoa or infused pepper steak and baked wild berry cheesecake (with fruit coulis, £5.50), there's a lot of intrigue to the dishes here, which should equal yummy satisfaction for most diners.
For palates of the more-is-less variety, not-so hyped up options are available. The Hill Burger (Aberdeen Angus beef mince with coriander, red onion, Monterray Jack and red onion chutney, with chunky chips, pommes frites or mixed salad, £11.50), a range of steaks (from £16.50) and back-to-basics fresh seafood (swimming round the £10 price point) should please those looking for no fuss food.
Service is exceptionally friendly. The setting is gastro pub (but you're more likely to get a good wine than a great beer). The reason to eat here might be a special occasion when you're especially hungry and keen for a relaxed atmosphere.
The Hill Bar and Brasserie is located at 94 Haverstock Hill, NW3 2BD.
Disclaimer: Londonist visited The Hill upon invitation of the restaurant.