The Compass, Islington

Posted by Krista on October 7, 2009

The compass inside

The Compass
58 Penton Street
N1 9PZ

Date of Last Visit: Saturday, September 19th, 2009

The Victims: Chris, Evelien, Al, Louise

The Damage: £50 each

The Background: There's not much background to report. Al & Louise got a sitter. Chris & Evelien got a sitter. So it was that we all went out to eat sans whippersnappers. I was coming from a party down the road at The Albion, so I was wearing very large shoes. These are the things I remember.

The Entrance: The Compass is more than a pub. It's more restaurant-y feeling. It's a nice big open room. To get to the ladies, you need to go down a long staircase. This was a bad thing for me and my shoes. I nearly died. Twice.

The compass snails
The Starter: Three out of five of us got the English snails to start (with garlic and parsley), and wow was this a generous portion. It was almost too many snails, because you know, after you've eaten the 8th or 10th one, you start to think about what it is you're eating. Uggh. I think I counted more than 18 snails on the plate. That's a lot of garden paraphernalia. I forget who, but at least one person at the table had never had escargot before. How have you lived???

The compass lamb

The Main: That's my lamb there, with French beans (you can't see them) and new potatoes. (More like potato mash.) This was an EXTREMELY generous portion. I gave away half the lamb to Chris. The meat was pretty competently prepared. A great brown crust. Nice pink meat. (Although they never asked me how I wanted it done.) Ah, and the potato goodness it was all resting on was pretty delicious.

The Service: Either they are the nicest and sweetest servers in the entire world, or my cover was blown. The Compass had a large party upstairs, so our waitress apologized about 10 times for the delay in our food, and comped us the bread and olives. (Pet peeve though…I just don't think you should charge for bread. Olives, maybe. Bread, no.) Really…very attentive and pleasant. Well-done.

The Verdict: I could see myself going back here for a leisurely lunch. Or an early-in-the-week dinner.

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3 Responses to “The Compass, Islington”

  1. I, too, was impressed by the generosity of portions at the Compass. When I was there for dinner, the foie gras was an enormous, beautifully-seared slab for eight quid. The Compass is a nice addition to the ‘hood.


  2. Krista
    Oct 09, 2009

    They were almost too generous! I mean, I appreciate it, but it won’t do anyone any good if they go out of business!


  3. Funthyme
    Oct 20, 2009

    I popped in here the other night to pick up a menu and the food I saw coming out looked great.

    I used to go here when it was the Salmon & Compass back in my Islington days. It’s impressive how they convert pubs into restaurants these days by simply removing half the bar and slotting in an open galley kitchen.

    They’ve done exactly the same at the Pennethorne in Vicci Park, also worth checking if you’re in the area..