Seminal 1990s Soho ‘style bar’, Alphabet, closed five years ago – but has now resurfaced in Islington, inhabiting airy, roomy premises that provide a fitting reprise of the original’s laid-back New York loft vibe.
The venue has already become an N1 magnet for A1 cocktails, courtesy of drinks consultants Salts of the Earth, owners of Brixton’s much-lauded Shrub & Shutter. We like the cheeky riffs on popular rinses – Mint Choc Chip Mojito, say, or Panettone Negroni – and love the sexy Smoke Signal (BBQ-smoked bourbon and roasted pineapple-infused gin, topped with air-dried ham).
The keenly priced cooking also has fans: southern Med-style food such as tagines, kebabs, loaded flatbreads, wraps and dips. Served tapas-style, Alphabet’s moist confit duck pastilla with tzatziki, and tender grilled squid with Levantine spices are ‘F’ for fine. The likes of fluffy, fresh tabouleh would be ‘A’ for ace, but for seasoning that needed more ‘O’ for oomph.