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Augustus Harris was the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre from 1879 until his death in 1896 and was widely regarded as the father of pantomime – famous for his lavish productions as well as his
love of food and drink. There’s even a fetching bust of the man himself on the corner of Catherine Street, just a few yards from this Italian deli-turned-eatery of the same name. During the day,
Augustus Harris operates as a purveyor of wines, olive oil and other Italian produce, before more morphing into a Venetian-style bacaro in the evening. Chicchetti, crostini and salumi (charcuterie)
are the mainstays of the menu, along with some light and feisty salads of bresaola, fennel and Italian cheeses. A crostini of nduja, stracciatella and rocket mixes fiery flavours with creamy notes,
and we find anchovy butter soldiers to be standout in their simplicity. Cocktails including variations on the classic spritz and Negroni are well received, though a concise but creative all-Italian
wine list is the real reason for a trip: good value comes in the form of some lesser-known native Italian grape varieties.
In Britain, we are more likely to gorge to distension and drink to cirrhosis than embrace the idea of moderation. The notion of spending an evening with a few bar snacks and a few drinks is fairly uncommon. Our venue tonight, however, is designed exactly for this kind of lighter intake. Augustus Harris is fashioned around the Venetian philosophy of grazing at the local bàcaro which serve wine with tapas-like cicchetti.Augustus Harris gives new life to the idea of bar food; try crostini of crusty baguette with roasted wild mushrooms or mackerel with red onions. Although there are cicchetti of lesser merit (a desperately syrupy creation of gorgonzola, grape and honey), kudos must go to the attentive barman who deducts these from the bill. On other plates, slices of air dried and cured bresoala topped with rocket. It’s not genius, but it fits perfectly amongst the smoked copper surfaces, shelves of Italian produce and bottles of deeply rubied Rosso...
More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »
ast but by no means least, I have to mention a very quaint little wine bar, a Venetian Bacaro actually, called Augustus Harris. Foodie frappy and I stumbled upon this after our trip to see the rather weird and wonderful works of David Bailey and before our reservation at Sticks N Sushi.We were in a wine mood and must have walked around half of covent garden before finally being saved by AH. Interiors are fresh; a combination of woody furniture and a beautiful copper bar. I’m not too hot on my Italian wines, and I’m sure there are more grape varietals besides Falanghina and Malvasia but if there was ever a place to learn about them, it’d be here. The rosé I had and the Sangiovese I recommend for foodie frappy went down a treat and if we didn’t have dinner plans, I would have happily explored the wine list further...
More from Mitziesbubble »
Set back from the bustling piazza (/touristic-nighmare) of Covent Garden and running parallel to Drury Lane, lies Catherine Street - a short strada that packs a punch when it comes to the act of mange. It’s home to part of rock’n’roll restauranteur Russell Norman’s expansive real estate; the boozy Jewish deli, Mishkins. It also houses a tranche of Salt Yard Group’s sharp Spanish/Italian dining acts, Opera Tavern. Now there’s a new kid on the block and he goes by the name of Augustus Harris.An evening-only gem of a Venetian wine bar with a snack-tastic selection of bites, Italian wines and a bittersweet cocktail selection...
More from Lady Aga »
An uncomplicated menu of pronounced northern Italy flavour; an equally concise and decidedly Italian list of wine and drinks; a stylish wood and copper bar that’s as cosy as it is elegant – there’s a lot to love about Augustus Harris, a Venetian inspired bàcaro conveniently set within the heart of Theatreland.Cicheti, spuntini, crostini … more than cook anything up, the barmen at AH essentially take a few basic ingredients and assemble them into small dishes for snacks and sharing. If that comes across as a disparaging statement, by no means is that the intention. I’ve been craving to return since my visit a couple of weeks back as I found the menu to be an absolute delight...
More from Tiki Chris »
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