2023 brought a new watering hole just off Clapham’s buzzy Northcote Road and it immediately attracted quite the crowd. The operation comes from the unlikely duo behind Other Side Fried, London’s cult fried chicken shop, who have made something of a U-turn with this neighbourhood venture.
Ploussard offers the cosy essence of a Parisian-inspired bistro and wine bar, albeit with a fashionable London twist, and serves an ever-changing menu of seasonal sharing dishes accompanied by a low-intervention wine list. It’s palpably buzzy. Plates pour out from the open kitchen at the back, and virtually every seat in the house is filled. While dark wooden booths, distressed flooring and the letters p-l-o-u-s-s-a-r-d spelled out in framed prints on the wall offer a characteristically retro vibe.
The menu comprises an ever-evolving list of around 15 dishes, starting at £4.50 for house bread and butter and working their way up to just over £30. One dish that hasn’t budged since opening is a simple but awesome house-made crumpet crowned with juicy, slow-cooked lamb and anchovy. Elsewhere, smoky barbecued greens with cooling ricotta, fresh peas and toasted almonds are a lesson in how to make vegetables taste fantastic. Another highlight of crispy-skinned trout and charred leeks immersed in a beautiful salmon-hued shrimp butter sauce felt like a steal for £16. There are only two desserts, including a playful take on rhubarb and custard. Barbie-pink cubes of soft rhubarb are crowned with a blob of aeriated vanilla custard – like the squirty cream you used to eat as a kid – and topped with shards of meringue.
The focus is just as much on the wine as the food here with a short but considered natural French wine list. We plumped for a light, easy-to-drink white grape blend, although you could go as quirky and funky as you like if you wanted to. All in all, any neighbourhood would be lucky to have a place like Ploussard on its doorstep.