Legare
Legare
Legare
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SquareMeal Review of Legare

Silver Award

No country handles the joyous comfort of carbohydrate more expertly than Italy. Legare – which means to bind or tie – appreciates the seductive appeal of this by working to be a neighbourhood Italian restaurant that serves up a concise selection of small plates and pasta to earn diners’ undying loyalty.

The neighbourhood spiel might seem like a stretch for any restaurant sitting in the shadows of Tower Bridge, but somehow Legare feels like it could slip into becoming your local very easily, no matter where you live. The small space is cool and functional, all whitewashed brick walls, flagstone floors and clean wooden bench seating with an open kitchen stretching down one side. It might sound clinical, but the low ceilings and curved warehouse-style windows make it feel cosy.  

Headed up by co-owner and ex-Barrafina manager Jay Patel, the trendy skinny-jean-and-Breton-clad staff at Legare seem genuinely invested in the diner’s experience while in their care and do their best to alleviate any tension caused by the handful of closely packed tables.

The seasonally led menu features carefully sourced, British ingredients and lines them up in a precise, confident menu. Chewy, robust sourdough comes first, with salted, bitter olive oil, followed by raw scallops with a grassy dressing and the spike of lemon, finely cut green onions and espelette pepper. A comforting bowl of warm beans and cuttlefish is brought to life with a brilliantly restrained addition of garlic.

Having perfected his pasta craft at Trullo, chef co-owner Matt Beardmore turns out hearty bowls that combine just a few key flavours. Taglierini with an umami anchovy butter was piqued with the gentle warmth of chilli and topped with the crunch of pangritata, while the fat in a fennel sausage pappardelle was tempered with cavolo nero, which felt indulgent, if a little too al-dente for our taste.

A carefully curated wine list built up from small producers completes the trifecta of good food, drinks and service for a winning combination we’d happily return for week after week.

About Legare

Located a brisk walk from London Bridge station and right by Tower Bridge, Legare (pronounced ‘le-ga-re’) is a casual Italian which focuses on seasonal ingredients and fresh pasta. Legare is the first solo restaurant from Jay Patel (previously general manager at Barrafina Adelaide Street) and young chef Matt Beardmore, who was previously senior sous chef at Highbury’s Trullo.

Despite its central location, Legare touts itself as a neighbourhood restaurant and this more homely approach to dining is evident on the restaurant’s menu. Legare’s food offering consists of a specials board featuring experimental seasonal dishes, alongside a short and regularly changing list of antipasti and fresh pasta dishes, with all of the pasta made daily by hand and in-house.

Dishes to look out for include the tempting likes of tajarin with ‘burro e salvia’ (butter and sage), as well as semolina-based pastas from southern Italy such as orecchiette with fennel sausage and Swiss chard ragu.

Before the main event, you can tuck into antipasti options including fett’unta of goats’ curd and sobrasada, and a daily crudo offering which is dictated by day-boat fishing and seasonal oysters. To round off your meal, indulge in a homemade cannoli for dessert, which arrives stuffed with seasonal fillings.

The restaurant takes provenance seriously, using only a handful of thoughtfully considered suppliers. These include the acclaimed likes of Neal’s Yard Dairy, The Ham & Cheese Company and Kernow Sashimi.

Legare’s wine list features natural, low-intervention bottles from small producers, with a particular focus on wines from Italy and its neighbouring countries. Customers can also buy some of the available wines to take home, alongside other produce such as olives sourced from across Sicily, Croatia and the wider Mediterranean.

The interiors meanwhile feature pastel-washed walls which draw their inspiration from modern-day Italian cafes, while a clever layout allows for solo diners, as well as those in pairs and small groups.

Images: Jamie Orlando Smith and Hanna Benjamin

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Cuisines
Italian
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Child friendly, Dates
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Legare

Cardamom Building , 31G Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, London, SE1 2YR

020 8063 7667

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:30-22:00
Tue 17:30-22:00
Wed 17:30-22:00
Thu 17:30-22:00
Fri 17:30-22:00
Sat 17:30-22:00
Sun Closed

Reviews of Legare

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3 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Raj J

A great find with GREAT food
08 November 2019  

Hidden in Shad Thames, a stones throw away from Tower Bridge in a delightful hidden part of London I came across this lovely restaurant. No gimmicks. Just great food and good service. Actually the food was AMAZING. 

The starters hit the spot, absoultely lovely. For main I had the Stracci with crab, chilli, garlic, saffron and pangrattato. WOW! What a absolute delight, my taste buds went on a fantastic journey. The homemade Peach ice Cream? OMG. I love ice cream and this was quite possibly the best PEACH flavored Ice Cream/Sorbet I have ever had. 

This was a great find and next time I am in the area, I WILL be eating here again. Lovely service, lovely restaurant with GREAT FOOD. Make sure you try this place when visiting London.  

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Lilia

Excellent new kid on Tower Bridge block!
18 October 2019  

One of my hobbies is to check out new London openings, especially in the areas surprisingly bereft of good eateries, like Tower Bridge. This is one of the best new London openings I have tried in quite a while; pretty impressive on day 4 of formal opening, and it was full house too. Housed in a former 19th century spice warehouse, this is a very cosy space full of hygge, and semi-opened kitchen, that is fun to watch. Warm, genuine service, with Jay (I understand owner/manager) on hand with good suggestions, and Martha especially, made my pre-theatre dinner such fun. They all, including the chefs, looked like they wanted to be there and were having fun, not taking themselves too seriously, with healthy doze of humour, unlike some other newbies on the block, especially in Fitzrovia (see my review of another new Italian eatery). Best still, it is only some 2min walk from the iconic bridge, and the fab Bridge Theatre. As to the food, small menu, but still plenty to find for a pescaterian, I opted for mackerel crudo (who would have thought that, as done here in Legare, it could give seabass run for its money!) Not fishy at all, melt in one's mouth, perfect when accompanied by citrus and fennel salad, beautifully seasoned with herb mix, green olives, roasted pistachio. I also tried the freshest gem lettuce with pangrattata, blue cheese "sauce" and marinated shallots. Perfection on a plate, super simple, but oh so tasty. Tiny criticism, attributable to newness no doubt: Jay offered me water "on the house" upon arrival, but it actually came charged at £1 on the bill, no big deal, but serving staff all just need to align. Plus, it would be great if the staff could refill diners' glasses, it's such a small gesture but means a lot, especially if they are just standing around. But that is really just so minor, and the overall experience so positive, that I already cannot wait to try it again with friends. The oatmilk macchiatto coffee was excellent. I am only hoping the wine list expands a little, especially by the glass. Bravissimi!

Lilia

Excellent new kid on Tower Bridge block!
18 October 2019  

One of my hobbies is to check out new London openings, especially in the areas surprisingly bereft of good eateries, like Tower Bridge. This is one of the best new London openings I have tried in quite a while; pretty impressive on day 4 of formal opening, and it was full house too. Housed in a former 19th century spice warehouse, this is a very cosy space full of hygge, and semi-opened kitchen, that is fun to watch. Warm, genuine service, with Jay (I understand owner/manager) on hand with good suggestions, and Martha especially, made my pre-theatre dinner such fun. They all, including the chefs, looked like they wanted to be there and were having fun, not taking themselves too seriously, with healthy doze of humour, unlike some other newbies on the block, especially in Fitzrovia (see my review of another new Italian eatery). Best still, it is only some 2min walk from the iconic bridge, and the fab Bridge Theatre. As to the food, small menu, but still plenty to find for a pescaterian, I opted for mackerel crudo (who would have thought that, as done here in Legare, it could give seabass run for its money!) Not fishy at all, melt in one's mouth, perfect when accompanied by citrus and fennel salad, beautifully seasoned with herb mix, green olives, roasted pistachio. I also tried the freshest gem lettuce with pangrattata, blue cheese "sauce" and marinated shallots. Perfection on a plate, super simple, but oh so tasty. Tiny criticism, attributable to newness no doubt: Jay offered me water "on the house" upon arrival, but it actually came charged at £1 on the bill, no big deal, but serving staff all just need to align. Plus, it would be great if the staff could refill diners' glasses, it's such a small gesture but means a lot, especially if they are just standing around. But that is really just so minor, and the overall experience so positive, that I already cannot wait to try it again with friends. The oatmilk macchiatto coffee was excellent. I am only hoping the wine list expands a little, especially by the glass. Bravissimi!

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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